Active Older Women Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE

seniors2According to a Reuters story that highlighted an American Cancer Society (ACS) study, older women who take regular walks are less likely to get breast cancer than their less-active peers.

ACS researchers studied 74,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 74 who walked for at least one hour each day. The found that they had a 14 percent lower chance of getting breast cancer than infrequent walkers. More vigorous exercise was tied to an even lower risk.

The study began in 1992, which asked women to report on their health, medications and exercise habits. They also reported how much exercise they got in 1999, 2001 and 2005. Between 1992 and 2007, about 6.5 percent of all women in the study were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who walked at a moderate pace for at least seven hours each week were 14 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to those who walked for three hours or less each week. And women who exercised more vigorously for at least seven hours per week were about 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to women who participated in those activities less often.

It is important for older women—and men—to exercise in the home. Home aides, working with the healthcare team, can create an exercise regimen that keeps people active. Our workers are trained to help seniors with walking and exercise.

By Richard Ueberfluss PT, FACHE, President of Assisting Hands® Home Care Naperville/Hinsdale