- Cancerkin at Beckton Community Centre’s Health Promotion Day
- Study shows that older women who walk four hours per week can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer
Cancerkin at Beckton Community Centre’s Health Promotion Day
The East London team were in Beckton this week, running a stall at Beckton Community Centre’s Health Promotion Day. The team informally spoke to guests about the importance of breast awareness: giving information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer; dispelling common myths and teaching them how to check their breasts. One of our Awareness Ambassadors, Irina, also gave a talk on breast awareness to the Newham Chinese Association, who organised the Health Promotion Day. She spoke to 46 people, and a volunteer at the Centre translated her talk into Mandarin Chinese to ensure everyone fully understood her message. The talk was very well received, with many listeners asking for us to come more frequently so others could hear how important breast awareness is.
We would like to thank Nandita Saha, from Beckton Community Centre, for organising the Health Promotion Day and inviting us to be a part of it. We would also like to thank Irina, who volunteered her time to organise and deliver such a successful breast awareness talk, and everyone at Beckton Community Centre for accommodating us so well.
The Breast Awareness stalls and talks the East London team organise allow us to reach communities which may not otherwise hear the breast awareness message. If you know of a community group which would benefit from a free breast awareness talk, please call the East London team on 020 7830 2310 or email email@example.com.
Study shows that older women who walk four hours per week can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer
A recent French study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, has found that postmenopausal women who take four hours of light exercise a week (30 minutes per day) were 10% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who did no exercise.
Almost 60,000 postmenopausal women took part in the study, which used questionnaires to measure their activity levels for the previous four years. Each participant completed a questionnaire every two years for a total of eight years. The researchers measured activities in metabolic equivalent hours, METs, as it incorporates both the intensity and duration of exercise in one figure. They found that participants who regularly exercised were less likely to develop breast cancer, with this effect peaking at 12 METs – the equivalent of four hours of walking or two hours of sport, like cycling – per week. Women who exercised at this level for four years or more were 10% less likely to develop breast cancer over the eight years the study covered. However, women who exercised for longer or more intensely than 12 METs per week did not cut the risk of cancer further, with Dr Agnès Fournier, the lead author of the study, saying: “Our study shows it is not necessary to engage in vigorous or very frequent activities; even walking 30 minutes per day is beneficial. ”
The findings also showed that those who had exercised regularly five to nine years previously but had since stopped did not have a lowered risk of developing breast cancer. This is the first study to demonstrate how quickly the link between exercise and decreased risk can develop after regular exercise starts and how fast it disappears once exercise stops. As such, Dr Fournier said: “It was not [previously] clear how rapidly [the link between exercise and cancer risk] is observed after regular physical activity is begun or for how long it lasts after regular exercise stops. Our study answers these questions. We found that recreational physical activity – even of modest intensity – seemed to have a rapid impact on breast cancer risk.
“However, the decreased breast cancer risk we found associated with physical activity was attenuated when activity stopped.
“As a result, postmenopausal women who exercise should be encouraged to continue and those who do not exercise should consider starting because their risk of breast cancer may decrease rapidly.”
Interestingly, the findings were not affected by the women’s weight or waist circumference, meaning the decreased risk resulted from being active, rather than losing weight.
Sally Greenbrook, Senior Policy Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said “Being physically active doesn’t need to be running or going to the gym – it can be anything from playing actively with your children, walking or gardening – anything that raises your pulse reduces your risk.
“Breast cancer is most common in postmenopausal women so it is great to see evidence like this which supports the message that physical activity in this age group is beneficial.”
Cancerkin runs weekly classes in yoga, tai chi, Pilates, CanExercise and Dance Yourself Happy. For more information on any of these, please visit our website. To book onto any of the sessions, please contact Reema on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 830 2323.