Best RX: Can you decrease your breast cancer risk by exercising?

Atlanta’s local doctors provide answers to all your medical questions. One Best Self reader asked: I’ve read that you can decrease your breast cancer risk by exercising. I’m 45 and I am worried that even if I start exercising now, the damage has already been done by years of not exercising. Should I even bother?

Kristina Bowen, MD of Georgia Cancer Specialists: The old saying that it’s never too late to change really applies here. A recent study shows that exercise and weight loss significantly decrease a woman’s breast cancer risk, before and after menopause. So you can start exercising later in life and still enjoy great benefits! This even applies to overweight or obese women—those who exercised had a lower risk of breast cancer than those who were not physically active at all.

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