You already know that being fit and exercising reduce breast cancer risk - but how and why does it work? A recent Danish study has the answer.


The ability of serum obtained from women with breast cancer immediately after finishing two hours of moderate to intense exercise to prevent the growth and survival of breast cancer cells lines in vitro and in mice was attributable, at least in part, to epinephrine activation, which helps suppress the growth of tumour cells, according to a study by Pernille Hojman, PhD, of the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, the results of which were published in Cancer Research.


Hojman explained that evidence indicates that exercise can lower a woman's risk of breast cancer recurrence but that relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this protection. "The results of this study show that moderate to high intensity exercise leads to an acute increase in levels of epinephrine, which can reduce breast cancer cell viability and tumor growth," said Hojman.