Exercise helps reduce risk of breast cancer

Posted at 7:02 PM, Oct 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-22 00:23:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY - 1,500 women in Utah will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the next year. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, officials are reminding women to get tested early and start practices that can reduce the risk.

Studies show that women who exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week are less likely to develop breast cancer, partly because exercise helps boost the immune system.

A specific diet doesn't necessarily decrease chances of cancer, but a healthy diet helps maintain a healthy weight, which can lower risk of breast cancer.

"A healthy diet does obviously play a role in maintaining a healthy weight. And I think that's where women who eat well are at lower risk of breast cancer," said Dr. Sandhya Pruthi at the Mayo Clinic.

Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages a day increases the risk by 20 to 30 percent. Alcohol uses folic acid, an important b-vitamin.

Some women, regardless of lifestyle, will develop breast cancer because of genetics. That's why regular mammograms are important to catch breast cancer before it gets too bad.