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Exercise and Breast Health

Posted by Dr Jamie Burt on 25 June 2017

Breast cancer is Australia is unfortunately a common disease. Your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is around one in eight.

We cannot change that fact (at least for the time being) but are there simple things you can do to reduce your risk and exercise is on the top of that list.

Did you know there is research to show that lack of physical activity increases your risk of breast cancer?

This is independent of whether you are overweight or not. If you are overweight and do not exercise your risk is higher again.

Regular physical exercise reduces your risk of getting breast cancer.

If we take this a step further - a history of regular physical exercise before a diagnosis of breast cancer reduces your risk of recurrence, progression or a new 2nd cancer in your other breast going forward into the future.

More importantly again, if you are unlucky enough to be diagnosed with breast cancer, regular physical exercise after diagnosis has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of recurrence, spread or a second new breast cancer going forward.

Walking helps but regular running is even better. The benefits of exercise are particularly noted in post menopausal women.

Why bring this up? I am surprised that these facts do not seem to be widely known in the community so I think this information should be circulated to women more prominently so at least they are aware that his data exists.

If your breasts are so large you feel they are preventing you for exercising it is a double whammy. Research suggests breast size before pregnancy is a predictor of post menopausal breast cancer (if you were lean prior to pregnancy).

None of us can change these facts but we can modify our lives and lifestyles to reduce our risks.

Get a group of friends together and support each other to exercise regularly. It will be fun but you are also doing something very important for your health.

Dr Jamie BurtAuthor:Dr Jamie Burt
About: Dr Jamie Burt was born and educated in Melbourne, attending the University of Melbourne and graduating with MBBS in 1998. He is a member of the Senior Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and was Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute until 2004. Known for his respectful, informative, and caring approach, Jamie has been caring for women with breast reduction concerns for over 15 years. During this time, one moment stands out as defining what he aims to achieve with The Breast Reduction Clinic.
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