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

Daily Walk May Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk

Study findings are good news for postmenopausal women, experts say


Those who walked seven hours or more a week, even without engaging in other recreational physical activity, reaped protective benefits compared to those who walked three hours or less a week.

The message is encouraging, Patel said.

However, the study only found an association between moderate exercise and reduced breast cancer risk, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

While other studies have found that exercise lowered risk of breast cancer more for women with a lower body mass index (BMI) -- a calculation of body fat based on height and weight -- this study found the effect held regardless of BMI, weight gain in adulthood or use of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Other studies have found a link between time spent sitting and breast cancer risk, but Patel's group did not find this link.

This is "a good news study for women," said another cancer expert, Dr. Laura Kruper, who was not involved with the research.

The findings add to the accumulating evidence about exercise lowering breast cancer risk, and present a goal that is reachable for most women, said Kruper, co-director of the breast cancer program at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.

"This is something nearly every woman can do," Kruper said of exercising moderately for an hour daily.

"This is not running a marathon," she said.

Her advice to sedentary women who want to reduce their breast cancer risk: "If you get off the couch and walk around, it would help."

Why does exercise appear to lower breast cancer risk? The mechanism is mostly hormonal, Patel said. Breast cancer risk is affected by lifetime exposure to estrogen, with more exposure increasing risk. Older, physically active women have lower levels of estrogen than their sedentary peers.

Besides exercising, women who want to reduce breast cancer risk should maintain a healthy body weight, Patel said, and if they drink, they should limit alcoholic beverages to no more than one daily.

1 | 2

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