SEATTLE, Wash. — Researchers have said that exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 10 or 15 percent.
However, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle want to know more.
They want to know what - if any - biological changes can happen within a couple of hours of exercise that might explain why people who exercise have a lower risk of breast cancer.
"We know that muscle is acutely affected by exercise," said Anne McTiernan, a Fred Hutch epidemiologist. "We know that people can lower their blood pressure after a couple of hours of exercise, and their insulin levels go down. But that's all we know. We don't know about the effects on biology that's related to cancer."
Fred Hutch is now recruiting women for a clinical trial to find out.
Researchers said they need 100 women between the ages of 18 and 75 who do not have breast cancer. If eligible, the women will likely meet at the clinic two times and potentially exercise for 45 minutes or do a resting protocol.
The trial also pays women anywhere from $25 and $125 for participating.
"We know from population studies that people who exercise have a lower risk of developing breast cancer," said McTiernan. "And you don't have to be an athlete to get that benefit."
McTiernan said just meeting the national guideline of 150 minutes of regular activity a week will do, like light walking.
She also said there are other ways women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by:
- Keeping weight in a normal range
- Keeping a healthy diet but knowing there's no magical food for prevention
- Reducing the use of alcohol-- even one drink a night on average can increase risk
- Taking caution while using hormone therapy
If you'd like to know more about the clinical trial, click here.