No matter where you live, there’s likely to be an event raising funds to support breast cancer awareness and research. It’s typically a walk- or run-a-thon, offering an opportunity for pink-shirt wearing mean,women and children to not only contribute to the worthy cause but in a way that symbolizes one of the best ways for a woman to minimize their chances of getting breast cancer: exercise.
Particularly for young, college-aged women, who typically don’t consider themselves likely to contract the disease anytime soon.
About 230,000 women (and about 3,000 men) will have been diagnosed with breast cancer by the end of 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It the most common cancer among women, no matter their race or ethnicity, and the most common cause of death among Hispanic women. Among other women, it is the second-leading cause of death.
Less than 8 percent of women diagnosed with the disease are under 30, but about 4 percent of women under 30 are likely to have breast cancer in their lifetime. That may seem like a small number, unless you (or your loved one) finds themselves among the four percent.
In order to increase awareness among young women, a research assistant professor at the University of Sciences put together a list of lifestyle factors that impact a young women’s chances of getting breast cancer, and made some recommendations based on her findings.
Isabelle Mercier, PhD says young women should be aware of the physical impact of their lifestyle choices “early in life to prevent the development of breast cancer down the road.”
Among her recommendations was making a significant effort to avoid obesity and getting regular exercise.
She notes that obesity is responsible for up to 20 percent of cancers among women, so being overweight or obese makes your body a “cancer-friendly” environment. On the positive side, she points out, women who get 2.5 hours of moderately intense activity each week reduce their chances of getting breast cancer by 18 percent!
What is moderately intense exercise? A good, fast walk qualifies!
If you’re currently exercising regularly, you’re not only helping yourself now but you’re giving yourself a better chance of staying heather for many years to come.
Bur if you’re a young woman who currently doesn’t exercise regularly, what better motivation to get started is there than knowing that by doing so you’re lowering your risk of getting one of the deadliest diseases around?!
So take a hike! Or a run! Or a brisk walk! And give yourself to beat the battle against breast cancer!