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Exercise, Weight Control Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

from Statesman Journal

Breast cancer can be a devastating disease, but most women can take active steps to reduce their risk, say some of the nation's leading breast-cancer experts.

Women shouldn't blame themselves for their illness, doctors say, noting that it's usually impossible to pinpoint what caused an individual woman's breast tumor.

But about 25 percent of all breast cancer cases in women of all ages could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity, said internist Anne McTiernan, a researcher with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

"The greatest benefits for breast cancer reduction come from weight control and physical activity together," she said.

Alpa Patel, an American Cancer Society epidemiologist, agrees these are "modifiable risk factors," along with limiting alcohol consumption.

It may seem obvious, but being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer, the cancer society said. more

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