Although there are certain factors contributing to the risk of breast cancer that are outside of a woman's control – such as genetics – there are many things that can be done to a person's lifestyle in order to help to reduce the risks that are within a woman's control. Among the things that a woman can do is to keep up with regular cardio and strength training workouts.
New research has shown that these types of workout – particularly those involving cardio and the use of weights – can help to lower the risk of developing certain cancers including breast and lung.
Two new studies were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which revealed that while all forms of exercise can reduce lung and breast cancer risks, women who take part in vigorous workouts and who combine cardio with weights several times per week were able to reduce their risk of breast cancer by 30 percent and of lung cancer by about 33 percent.
Furthermore, the women who were working on their fitness through those types of exercise were able to enjoy those benefits regardless of the level of risk that they already had, and despite additional risk factors such as being overweight or being smokers.
An American Society of Clinical Oncology spokesperson, Jyoti Patel, M.D. explained one of the potential reasons that these workouts can provide those risk reducing benefits, in that these activities can lower the number of estrogen producing fat cells. The reason that is important is that when there are excessive levels of estrogen in the body, it can lead to an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Some of the types of strength exercises that appear to be the most effective for encouraging that cancer risk reducing benefit include bicep curls, squats, and chest presses. Another study from 2012, which was conducted by Harvard, determined that strength training exercises cause the body to produce irisin, which is a hormone that works its way through the body and changes fat cells so that the metabolic rate increases, thereby boosting the body's ability to burn calories.
When it comes to lung cancer, it has been estimated that the physical activity causes lung function to improve, thereby reducing the chances that cancer causing agents that have been inhaled will build up in deposits within them. Furthermore, exercises promotes a healthier immune system and encourages weight loss. All of those components work together to reduce the cancer risk.