Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Exercise Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Studies Show Exercise May Lower Risk and Help Those With Breast Cancer Cope
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 16, 2007 -- Exercise may help prevent breast cancer, and help those who do get it cope, two new studies show.

The first study, based on interviews with 15,000 women, shows that women who get more than six hours of strenuous exercise a week, and have no family history of breast cancer, may be 23% less likely to develop the disease than women who don't exercise at all.

The second study shows a 12-week group exercise program may boost mood and physical function in women with early-stage breast cancer.

The researchers don't promise exercise will prevent breast cancer, or blame breast cancer on a lack of exercise. Many factors affect cancer risk.

But, they do report exercise appeared to have benefits in protecting against cancer for women of all ages.

"We have found that exercise likely offers protection against breast cancer regardless of a woman's stage in life," researcher Brian Sprague, of the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, says in an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) news release.

"The take-home message for women should be that it is never too late to begin exercising," Sprague says.

Breast Cancer Prevention Study

The study by Sprague, assistant professor Amy Trentham-Dietz, PhD, also of the Carbone cancer center, and others, appears in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

For the study, the researchers interviewed more than 15,000 women in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin by telephone.

Those interviewed included 6,391 breast cancer patients and 7,630 women without breast cancer. The women were 20-69 years old, roughly split between women 49 and under, those in their 50s, and those in their 60s.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow