Five Things Friday: How Exercise Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence

Exciting and hopeful research analysis has found that of all the lifestyle factors (weight gain, exercise, diet, smoking, alcohol ) exercise had the “most robust effect” on breast cancer recurrence and mortality.

The research concluded that starting an exercise regimen, or maintaining one, from the time of diagnosis through treatment and afterward decreases a breast cancer survivor’s recurrence rate by 40%.

Here’s what research indicates about the benefits of exercise for a breast cancer survivor: 
  1. Exercise appears to impact how the body metabolizes sugars and some studies have found a link between a diabetic or a pre-diabetic state and cancer risk and recurrence.
  2. Exercise regulates hormone levels, which is beneficial when treating hormone-related tumors.
  3. Physical activity appears to reduce inflammation, which may explain why it reduces the aches and pains experienced by patients during treatment.
  4. Exercise helps with weight loss. According to research, gaining more than 10 per cent of one’s initial body weight after diagnosis is linked to an increased risk of recurrence and death.
  5. The amount of exercise that is beneficial is 30 minutes, 5 days a week or 150 minutes a week. “But”, insist researchers, “If you are doing nothing, then your target is whatever is a little bit more than nothing. Then you incrementally gain benefit as you incrementally increase your physical activity.”
Information compiled from

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