Physical exercise reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 25%


Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in women worldwide. The National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimated 66,280 new cases for 2020 and an average number of deaths of 17,572 thousand women and 189 men.

Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for the development of cancer, and physically active women can have a reduction of up to 25% in the risk of developing breast cancer. In addition to lack of exercise, other factors such as being overweight and drinking alcohol further increase the risks.

Credit: IstockIn addition to reducing the risks of breast cancer, physical activity also helps with chemotherapy treatment.

Physical exercise can bring numerous benefits to patients undergoing cancer treatment, whether they are already practicing activities before the tumor appears, or if they started to exercise after the diagnosis. In addition, exercise considerably improves cancer-related fatigue, a very common condition in patients undergoing chemotherapy. This fatigue significantly compromises the functional capacities and quality of life of these women.

In patients, physical exercise has shown many benefits such as increased muscle strength, aerobic capacity, health-related quality of life, fatigue, anxiety and self-esteem, and especially in reducing / controlling body weight. Thus, an intervention with physical exercises can improve both physical and psychological aspects during and after breast cancer treatment.

* Alexandre Abilio de Souza Teixeira, doctoral student at the Immunometabolism laboratory of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at USP (University of São Paulo).
Loreana Sanches Silveira, postdoctoral fellow at the Immunometabolism laboratory of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at USP (University of São Paulo).

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