According to a recent genetics-based study, sitting on the couch or at a desk may raise your risk of developing breast cancer. According to genetic analysis, people more likely to exercise have a 41% lower risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
A regular visit to gynaecologist, for breast cancer screening, should be done. Exercise and lowered cancer risk have previously been linked in studies. Still, senior researcher Brigid Lynch of Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, said, “our study suggests that the strength of the relationship may be even stronger than suggested by observational studies.”
Lynch continued, “Our study also suggests that being sedentary may increase the risk of breast cancer. The risk is higher for receptor-negative tumours, such as triple-negative breast cancer, which is more aggressive than other types and has a worse prognosis.”
Nearly 131,000 women from all over the world, including nearly 70,000 who had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, were subjected to complex genetic analysis by Australian researchers for this study.
The study’s authors noted that previous studies had discovered genetic variations that are connected to an individual’s propensity to exercise at all, exercise vigorously, or sit around all day. The researchers discovered that younger women with genes that would typically motivate them to exercise three or more days per week appear to have a 38% lower risk of breast cancer.
Conversely, hormone receptor-negative breast cancers were 77% more common in women genetically predisposed to be sedentary. The findings of our study point to the necessity of cutting down on total sitting time, according to Lynch. Try taking walking breaks throughout the day for women working desk jobs. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go outside for a 30-minute walk.
On September 6, the results were released in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Although it is “a little controversial,” Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, a specialist with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said that these findings are consistent with earlier research that linked exercise to a reduced risk of developing cancer using self-reported behaviour or wearable trackers that measured how much people moved.
Oncologist Ligibel of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said, “Whether or not this provides a higher level of evidence than actually looking at what people do in terms of their activity and how that’s related to cancer, I think is the source of maybe a little debate.” “This confirms that using a different way of looking at the relationship, as shown by a fair amount of research that sedentary behaviour is a cancer risk factor.”
However, a genetics-based study like this one “raises interesting scientific questions for further research,” according to Karen Knudsen, president, and CEO of the American Cancer Society. What about those genetic changes linked to altered physical activity levels and a lower risk of developing cancer? What are these identified variations? Asked Knudsen. How do they influence a person’s metabolic programming? These are crucial next-step inquiries, in my opinion.
According to Lynch and Ligibel, there are numerous theoretical ways in which exercise could prevent cancer. For instance, exercise reduces circulating levels of sex hormones like estrogen, which, according to Lynch, “increase the risk of developing breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.”
According to Ligibel, exercise also reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, reduces insulin levels, and other growth factors linked to cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, adults should engage in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.
In addition to preventing many types of cancer, Knudsen noted that “emerging data suggest that physical activity will reduce the risk of development of aggressive disease.”
Just 50 minutes of moderate activity per week was shown in this study to reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to Lynch. According to Lynch, there are advantages to doing vigorous activity for longer than 10 minutes at a time, at least three times per week.