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The benefits of aerobic exercise against breast cancer

Women who exercise aerobically have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. According to the oncologist of the Breast Unit of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Clara Campal HM CIOCC, Isabel Calvo Plaza. On the occasion of World Breast Cancer Day.

It is a disease suffered by one in eight women at some point in their lives. And of which some 26,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in Spain. These represent 30% of all tumors that affect women. However, despite these data, survival is around 95 per cent. Thanks to the implementation of early detection programs and advances in personalized medicine.

There are many factors involved in the prognosis of breast cancer. Among them, we detect those that are related to the tumour itself or to our genes and that, for this reason, we cannot change“, explained the expert.

Factors that positively influence prognosis

However, he continues, there are also other types of factors that can be acted on and that can positively influence the prognosis. Among them are habits such as physical exercise. Follow the Mediterranean diet. Attend gynaecological check-ups and have screening mammograms when appropriate.

Not only has it been shown that women who engage in aerobic physical exercise have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. But, in addition, in those women who have been diagnosed with
a cancerous tumor in the chest, the exercise improves their prognosis“, has emphasized Dr. CalvoPlaza.

The importance of prevention and lifestyle

However, with regard to prevention, the expert stressed the importance of information and education from childhood onwards. Children should be inspired by healthy lifestyle habits such
as the Mediterranean diet and physical exercise. He pointed out, as a reminder, that schools today have specific programmes to promote healthy habits. However, we must not forget the need to
acquire these habits in the family environment.

Neoadjuvant treatment

On the other hand, Dr. Calvo spoke about the neoadjuvant treatment. The one administered prior to surgery, and has commented that although it was formerly intended to reduce the size of the
tumor for more conservative breast surgery, it is now used for prognostic and research purposes.

We know that women who undergo surgery to achieve a complete pathological response (absence of tumor after treatment) have a better prognosis. In addition, neoadjuvancy has gained much strength in the development of new drugs. Since in 6 months you can see the efficacy of a new drug compared to the 5 or 10 years needed in treatment studies after surgery“, has stressed.

In fact, he clarifies, thanks to neoadjuvancy, the approval of new drugs has been accelerated. And women can start benefiting before their administration.

New pharmacological advances against breast cancer

With regard to new pharmacological advances. The doctor has reported that there are “many” drugs currently in development. Above all, targeted at a molecule or receptor that expresses the
tumor. In addition, it has underlined the high participation of Spanish women in clinical trials. Thanks to which it is possible to make further progress in the treatment of this disease. In
addition, today there are dermocosmetic care for the cancer patient who has suffered side effects from the therapies.

Male breast cancer

Finally, she mentioned the incidence of male breast cancer. And he recalled that the few cases that occur (one for every 99 women) has made it “very difficult” to carry out breast cancer studies aimed only at men.

The diagnosis of breast cancer in a male, however, should alert us to a possible hereditary cancer. So we have to recommend the conduct of a genetic study of BRAC1-2“, has settled the expert.

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