The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Physical Activity Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

Benefits also shown in those receiving treatment and survivors

It is widely accepted that being fit and exercising regularly is “healthy,” but sometimes people need an intrinsic motivator to get moving. Cancer prevention is one of the key benefits of a regular workout routine.

Physically active adults have a considerably lower risk of developing breast cancer (and other types of cancer) than those who are sedentary. Those receiving cancer treatments, as well as cancer survivors, should not discount the power of exercise, as these groups experience lessened side effects of treatment, reduced risk of recurrence, and improved survival (1).

The relationship between physical activity and breast cancer incidence has been extensively studied worldwide. The Cooper Institute’s research indicates that women with higher cardio fitness levels have a reduced risk of dying from breast cancer (2).
In a 33-yearlong study, researchers from The Cooper Institute followed a group of more than 14,500 women.  The chart below shows that the women with “High Cardiorespiratory Fitness” levels (High CRF) had a higher rate of breast cancer survival.

Description: C:\Users\arembert\Desktop\CRF&SurvivalRate.JPGCurrently, only about 25 percent of American adults get adequate amounts of exercise each week to fend off cancer and other diseases (3). Barriers may include lack of time, cost, or not knowing what to do.
Education at The Cooper Institute gives people the knowledge needed to start eating healthy, exercising, and teaching others how to do the same.

“Exercise was the cornerstone to my breast cancer recovery,” said Lyda Hill, Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist. “As a survivor, I appreciate The Cooper Institute’s preventive medicine research and education. They continue to prove that exercise not only reduces the risk for cancer, but also increases the rate of cancer survival.”

This month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is the perfect time to reinvigorate your workouts. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, along with two days of strength training, each week. Physical activity will help ensure that you live a healthy life now and Well. Into the Future. 
1American Cancer Society (2014). The Power of Exercise in Breast Cancer Survivors. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from  
2National Institutes of Health (2009). A prospective study of cardiorespiratory fitness and breast cancer mortality. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from   
3National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2014). 2014 State Indicator Report of Physical Activity. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from