Physical activity has many benefits for people with breast cancer, from reducing fatigue to helping you regain a sense of control. Even a small amount of activity will have benefits. Lack of physical activity and excess body fat have been linked to an increased risk of many cancers, including breast, colon, endometrial (lining of the womb) and prostate cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Increase in BMI and the risks
A recently published article in The Lancet shows a higher body mass index (BMI) increases the risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers, the largest study of its kind on BMI and cancer, involving more than 5 million adults in the UK. Even within normal BMI ranges, higher BMI was associated with increased risk of some cancers.
Dr Bhaskaran explained, “There was a lot of variation in the effects of BMI on different cancers. For example, risk of cancer of the uterus increased substantially at higher body mass index; for other cancers, we saw more modest increases in risk, or no effect at all. For some cancers like breast cancer occurring in younger women before the menopause, there even seemed to be a lower risk at higher BMI. This variation tells us that BMI must affect cancer risk through a number of different processes, depending on the cancer type.”