A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention has found that regular walking reduces the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

This extensive report tracked 73 000 post menopausal women for 17 years and found that walking seven hours a week lowered the chance of having cancer. This was regardless of whether the women were overweight or obese or gained weight during the study.

Those who walked seven hours or more had a 14 % lowered risk of breast cancer compared with those who only walked three hours or less a week. The women who as well as walking, did some more vigorous exercise (cycling, jogging, aerobics etc), had a 24% lowered risk of breast cancer compared with the least active women.

This is more evidence that lifestyle may influence the risk of cancer.  Regular exercise is known to reduce the risk of many cancers.

October is Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

It’s a timely reminder to be breast aware. Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease.

Keep posted for the next blog about changes to look out for when doing a breast examination.

In the meantime: Get active. An hour a day of exercise will help to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Article written by Dr Melanie Woollam (Osteopath)


Hildebrand, J.S., Gapstur, S.M., Campbell, P.T et al (2013). Recreational physical activity and leisure-time sitting in relation to postmemopausal breast cancer risk.  Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 22 (10).

Cancer Australia. Canceraustralia.gov.au