Physical activity and breast cancer
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- Montaruli, A., Patrini, P., Roveda, E. et al. Sport Sci Health (2012) 8: 1. doi:10.1007/s11332-012-0125-6
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Knowledge of the relationships between risks and benefits of a given lifestyle is fundamental to being able to change life-long habits responsible for the development of pathological processes. Breast cancer is a widely studied pathology of vast social importance. It is important to identify the most appropriate lifestyle to give the organism the necessary tools to prevent tumour development. Physical exercise can act on and modify the different risk factors responsible for the development of both the primary pathology of breast cancer and relapses, thus reducing mortality. The various hypotheses of the biological routes through which physical activity can reduce risk indicate involvement of the following mechanisms: reduction in body weight, reduction in circulating levels of sex hormones, reduction in insulin resistance, reduction in leptin and adiponectin and modulation of the immune system. Recent discoveries on the mechanisms of cancer development indicate that cancer is the chronic pathology par excellence, and it is highly unlikely that it will be possible to eliminate it by concentrating all our efforts on tumour treatment techniques alone; it will be necessary to cure the whole organism in depth. Physical activity can be considered an “anticancer biology” that succeeds in exploiting the breakthroughs of medicine and our natural defences.