Health Watch — Breast Cancer: Exercise

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about new ways doctors use to detect breast cancer and pinpoint tumors for surgery. Early detection through screening is one of the best ways to prevent cancer deaths. But is it possible to prevent breast cancer?

A regular routine of brisk exercise, such as walking, swimming or bicycling, could help lower a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center believe that exercise lowers estrogen levels, and estrogen may keep tumor-suppressor genes from working properly. That raises the risk of cancer developing. Dr. Yvonne Coyle, a cancer epidemiologist at UT Southwestern, says women can’t control most of the risk factors for breast cancer, such as their age, family history or genetics. But this is one thing women can do for themselves that may help lower their risk while also improving their health.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer. 


June 2008

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