Can Your Workout Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk?

couple walking dogs( – According to new research, African-American women who exercise vigorously for more than two hours a week can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 64% compared to women of the same race who are sedentary, according to new research.

Scientists identified 97 African-American breast cancer patients living in the Washington, D.C., area, matching them with 102 women of the same race who had not been diagnosed with the disease.

Participants filled out questionnaires about their exercise routines.

Researchers say women who exercised vigorously more than two hours a week in the past year had a 64% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to women who didn’t exercise at all.

Yes, This Even Includes Walking

What is more, women who said they engaged in moderate exercise, such as walking, had a 17% reduced risk, compared to same-race women who were sedentary.

“I was surprised that we did not find a significant effect in pre-menopausal women, but it may be because we need a larger sample,” study researcher Vanessa Sheppard, PhD, an assistant professor of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, says in a news release.

“We also know from other studies that being physically active can have benefits in other diseases that occur at high rates in African-American women, such as diabetes and hypertension,” Sheppard says. “Four out of five African-American women are either overweight or obese, and disease control is a particularly important issue for them.”

Why The Focus On Black Women & Exercise?

The issue is important, Sheppard says, because while more white women are diagnosed with breast cancer, there are important differences in breast cancer between white and African-American women.

African-American women, for example, are at higher risk of developing pre-menopausal breast cancer than are white women, and comparatively, more African-American women develop the most aggressive form of the disease, which is known as triple-negative breast cancer.

The researchers say that when they examined the effect of total physical activity, combining vigorous activity at least 2 hours per week with walking, they saw significant gains for both pre- and postmenopausal women.

“We suggest that our findings, while promising, should be interpreted with caution,” Sheppard says. “This is a pilot study and a larger, more rigorous study is needed to precisely quantify the effect of exercise on development of breast cancer.” She says, however, that it’s “fair to conclude that if African-American women exercise, they can help take charge of their health.”

So take control of the health of your breasts by taking the time to exercise!

By Gemma Greene, BDO Staff Writer

This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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The NMA & OurHealth Partner To Create Historic Publication Honoring Black Physicians

NMA_banner( — The National Medical Association (NMA), the nation’s oldest and largest association for African American physicians and OurHealth Media Network, a respected leader in health communications and media services, have partnered to create a historic publication which brings much needed recognition to the stellar accomplishments of renowned and legendary black physicians.

“For years the NMA has acknowledged the work and accomplishments of black physicians who have excelled in medicine with clinical practice, public policy/advocacy or scientific research. We will continue to honor them and support the work of physicians who have committed their lives to the betterment of humanity,” stated Dr. Cedric M. Bright, President of the National Medical Association. “This unique partnership with OurHealth will allow us to share the brilliance and dedication of these physicians with the world in print as we launch this historical book.”

The Lives and Legacy of Outstanding Black Physicians  will give an autobiographical glimpse of these outstanding physician’s lives and contribution to medicine. The publication will honor physicians who have made a significant contribution to minority health who may or may not have been formally recognized. Further, the NMA will honor its illustrious Presidents who have been pioneers in their own right in the field of medicine and have guided this 117 year-old organization forward.

To enhance the publication and give it a “voice”, a companion DVD will be produced which will capture the essence of the publication with a historical perspective, featuring videotaped interviews and a poignant look at the state of health for African Americans during the last century.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work in partnership with the National Medical Association to help recognize and preserve these unsung heroes and sheroes of medicine,” said Lillian Preston, President of OurHealth Media Network. “This is a long overdue recognition, one that will enlighten the
hearts and minds of people for generations to come.

”The Lives and Legacy of Outstanding Black Physicians  publication will be unveiled at the NMA 2012 Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly in New Orleans, LA on July 28 – August 1, 2012.