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Breast cancer risk reduced by six hours of housework per day

4th September 2012

A very high level of physical activity can decrease the risk of breast cancer, according to a study funded by Cancer Research UK.

breastcancer

Women would have to do the equivalent of six hours of housework a day to decrease the danger of breast cancer by 13%.

More moderately active women, who do the equivalent of three hours a day working in the garden, decreased their risk by 10%.

The study looked at the details of 257,805 women around Europe, which were collected as part of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study.

The researchers examined 8,034 new cancer diagnoses which were received over 11 years.

They looked at whether the women involved in the study drank alcohol, how much exercise they took, if they breastfed and how much they weighed.

Co-author Professor Tim Key, a Cancer Research UK epidemiologist based at the University of Oxford, said: "This large study further highlights the benefits of being active, even moderate amounts."

"There is also a lot of evidence that exercise reduces the risk of bowel cancer. More research is needed on other types of cancer, and to investigate the mechanisms which could explain the links."

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: "While maintaining a healthy bodyweight and cutting back on alcohol remain two of the best ways of reducing our risk of breast cancer, being active can clearly play a role too, but doesn’t have to cost you money or too much time." 

 

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