Scrub­bing floors cuts risk of breast can­cer

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Laura Clout

DO­ING heavy house­hold chores could slash a woman’s risk of de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer by a third, ex­perts have found.

Scrub­bing floors, wash­ing win­dows and dig­ging the gar­den are just as ef­fec­tive as run­ning, cycling and play­ing ten­nis at ward­ing off the ill­ness, a study claims.

But lighter tasks like vac­u­um­ing and paint­ing, or pas­times like bowls and walk­ing do not have the same ef­fect, said the re­port for the jour­nal Breast Can­cer Re­search.

Women who had an hour of vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity each day, plus six hours of light ex­er­cise, were least likely to de­velop breast can­cer, ac­cord­ing to the 11-year study of 32,269 women. Their risk was cut by as much as a third.

Re­searchers said there was “an in­verse as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and post­menopausal breast can­cer”.

But they added: “Risk re­duc­tion ap­peared to be lim­ited to vig­or­ous forms of ac­tiv­ity.”

Over­weight women were not found to ben­e­fit from any re­duced risk, though the more ac­tive women tended to be slim­mer non-smokers.

“The risk among th­ese women de­creased by about 30 per cent com­pared with women with no vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity,” the re­port said.

Dr Michael Leitz­mann of Re­gens­burg Uni­ver­sity in Ger­many, one of the re­port’s au­thors, said rig­or­ous ex­er­cise may en­hance the body’s nat­u­ral de­fences to in­fec­tion and dis­ease.

The study also sug­gested that a lack of ex­er­cise could ac­tu­ally in­crease the chances of a woman de­vel­op­ing the can­cer. “A seden­tary life­style can be a risk fac­tor for the dis­ease – even in women who are not over­weight,” it said.

Bri­tish can­cer ex­perts last night wel­comed the re­port. Henry Scowcroft of Can­cer Re­search UK said: “This study adds to the grow­ing body of ev­i­dence that breast can­cer is less com­mon amongst post­menopausal women who lead an ac­tive life­style.

“Al­though this pa­per sug­gests vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity gives the most ben­e­fit, sev­eral other stud­ies have shown that less in­tense ac­tiv­ity can also be ben­e­fi­cial in the long run.”

Ex­perts rec­om­mend women ex­er­cise for 30 to 45 min­utes, five times a week to re­duce their risk of breast can­cer. Breast can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer for women.

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