Lifestyle Modifications Cut Rates on Breast Cancer

Lifestyle modifications such as getting more exercise, losing weight and drinking less alcohol could significantly decrease the rates of breast cancer throughout a whole population, a new model that roughly calculates the effect of these modifiable risk factors showed.

Often, such models are used to approximate the risk of breast cancer based on the things that women cannot modify, such as history of the disease in the family. Up until now, there are only few models that show how women can minimize their risk of getting the disease through modifications in their lifestyle.

The researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute constructed the model using the data gathered from a study accomplished in Italy. The study was comprised of above 5,000 women.

Meanwhile, the model consisted of three risk factors that can be modified such physical activity, body mass index and consumption of alcohol. It also included five risk factors that are impossible or difficult to modify such as biopsy history, education, family history, job activity, and reproductive characteristics.

The point of reference for some modifiable lifestyle factors composed of obtaining a minimum of 2 hours of exercise per week for 30 to 39-year-old women and acquiring a body mass index below 25 in women aged 50-years-old and above.

The model forecasted that changes in modifiable risk factors would lead to a 1.6 percent decrease in the 20-year absolute risk in the population of 65-year-old women and a 3.2 percent decrease in women with a history of breast cancer in the family. Also, it has a 4.1 percent decrease in women with several non-modifiable risk factors.

The authors of the model pointed out that the forecasted lifestyle changes to reach these goals may be excessively optimistic. However, they said the findings could help design programs that are intended to persuade women to perform lifestyle modifications.

Categorized | Health

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