Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 Tracy10, Community Member, asks

Q: Does lying on stomach cause breast cancer?

Is it true that breast cancer may be caused by poor circulation because people who exercise less tend to have more breast cancer? If that's the case, are people who lie on their stomach's more prone to breast cancer because the circulation to their breasts could be lowered by sleeping that way? Would you know if any such studies have ever been done to see if the position women sleep in has an effect on breast cancer?
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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
7/30/08 7:22am

Wow, you're making some pretty wild connnections here,Tracy. The main reason people who exercise more have less breast cancer is that they're generally thinner and have less circulating estrogen in their system. I've never heard of a study that addressed whether the position a woman sleeps in has any bearing on her risk of breast cancer. - PJH

Laurie Kingston, Health Guide
7/30/08 10:32am

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by all the things that have been linked to breast cancer, at least potentially. However, as far as I can discover, sleeping on one's stomach is not one of them.

PJ is right about exercise and estrogen. That's why exercise has been proven to help prevent recurrence in women who had estrogen positive breast cancer but not for women (like me) whose cancer is estrogen negative. Exercise is still really valuable for all cancer patients (and everyone) though, for a whole host of reasons both physical and mental.

As for sleeping - I think it is safe to say that the position we sleep in shouldn't keep us up at night!

Take good care-


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By Tracy10, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/17/12, First Published: 07/30/08