Sport & Exercise Science, Sports Medicine

More evidence that exercise can help prevent and treat breast cancer

Exercise after cancerResearchers at the University of New Mexico are studying a newly discovered hormone that muscles release after exercise.

Irisin, named for the Greek “messenger” goddess Iris, may prevent breast cancer and boost the effects of chemotherapy drugs used in breast cancer treatment.

Studies suggest women who exercise regularly have 30 to 40 percent reduced risk of breast cancer and improved survival rates if they have the disease.

Even though research indicates that hormones play a major role, a solid link had yet to be established.

Irisin, originally discovered by researchers at Harvard Medical School, was shown to increase with exercise and to stimulate metabolism in select tissues, such as fat.

Roger Vaughan, a postdoctoral fellow at Texas Tech University and recent graduate of the UNM Exercise Science Department said, “Irisin represents a potential therapy for stimulating whole-body metabolism, further validating the importance of regular exercise. We theorized that irisin may alter other important cellular processes beyond metabolism, extending the potential implications of exercise and resulting hormone levels.”

Source: University of New Mexico

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