Certain healthy habits help reduce breast cancer risk: study

13:48, October 13, 2010      

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U.S. researchers have identified three healthy habits which may be helpful in reducing breast cancer risk for women.

Postmenopausal women who engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and drink moderate alcohol, if at all, may face a lower risk of breast cancer, according to the study by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Even postmenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer may benefit from the three habits, said the study published online Tuesday in the journal Breast Cancer Research.

The findings were based on an analysis of data on U.S. women aged 50 to 79 from the Women's Health Initiative study starting in 1993. During 5.4 years of follow-up, 1,997 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

The researchers excluded women with a personal history of breast cancer or with a family history of early-onset cancer ( diagnosed before age 45), then observed the impact of the healthy habits.

Excluding those with an early-onset family history makes sense, because a stronger genetic (versus environmental) component is thought to play a role in early-onset, experts say.

Following all three habits reduced the risk of breast cancer for women with and without a late-onset family history, the study found.

For women who had a family history and adhered to all these behaviors, about six of every 1,000 women got breast cancer over a year's time, according to the study.

In comparison, about seven of every 1,000 women developed breast cancer each year if they had a late-onset family history and followed none of the behaviors.

Among women without a family history who followed all three habits, about 3.5 of every 1,000 were diagnosed with breast cancer annually, compared to about 4.6 per 1,000 per year for those without a family history who followed none of the habits.

"Whether or not you have a family history, the risk of breast cancer was lower for women engaged in these three sets of behavior compared to women who were not," said study leader Dr. Robert Gramling, associate professor of family medicine.

For the study, the researchers considered regular physical activity to be 20 minutes of heart-rate raising exercise at least five times a week.

Moderate alcohol intake was defined as fewer than seven drinks a week. A healthy body weight was defined in the standard way, having a body mass index, or BMI, of 18.5 to under 25.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:叶欣)

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