Green Spaces and Breast Cancer

Green Spaces and Breast Cancer

Take-Home Message:

There may be a correlation between a woman’s proximity to green space and her risk of breast cancer.

Residential proximity to green spaces and breast cancer risk: The multicase-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain)

Authors: O’Callaghan-Gordo, C. et. al.
Source: Int J of Hygeine and Health

The investigators questioned the association between public green spaces (parks) and breast cancer risk. They chose the time period between 2008 and 2013 to evaluate over 2700 women (over 1100 with breast cancer and over 1600 without) who were living in 10 Spanish provinces. Geocoding was used to assess each woman’s green space exposure according to her residence.

The presence of urban green areas was associated with decreased breast cancer risk. This association was constant when considering age, socio-economic status, education and number of children. The risk of breast cancer rose as the distance from urban green space increased. Neither physical activity nor level of air pollution played a role in the effect. Interestingly, breast cancer risk was increased with proximity to agricultural areas.

This study supports other observations that pubic green spaces enhance health, but it does not show that this enhancement is due to increased exercise or better air quality. More studies will be helpful to more fully understand how spaces such as public parks affect breast health.