MAY 22, 2020 7:36 AM PDT

Even minimal exercise can reduce breast cancer recurrence

New research urges individuals at high-risk of breast cancer to get moving, shaking, shimmying, and kicking! According to a study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, even minimal exercise can have a significant impact on helping patients stay cancer-free after treatment, so why not try it? The comprehensive analysis is a result of a clinical trial run by SWOG Cancer Research Network, a cancer clinical trials network funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

"Aiming for as little as two and half hours a week of exercise - the minimum under federal guidelines - can have a big impact for women with high-risk breast cancer," said study lead Rikki Cannioto, Ph.D., EdD. "Our research shows that some physical activity is far better, in terms of cancer survival than no activity at all and it is just as beneficial as longer workouts."

Not only does physical activity extend lives, but the SWOG study reveals that for patients meeting the minimum federal exercise guidelines before and after treatment, it is correlated with a 55% decrease in risk of their cancer returning. Exercising the standard amount also reduced the risk of death by 68%. 

Interestingly, the study also determined that as long as one is meeting the minimum federal guidelines, exercising a moderate amount can do just as much good as exercising to the max. 

"What these results suggest for doctors - and patients - is that even a modest exercise routine, taken up after cancer treatment, can help women with high-risk breast cancer live longer and healthier lives," Cannioto said. "It's never too late to start walking, doing yoga, cycling, or swimming - and that activity certainly appears to pay off."

Photo: Pixabay

Other good news is that you don’t have to have been exercising before treatment to get these beneficial outcomes. The analysis showed that even patients who started exercising only after treatment still showed a 46% decreased chance of recurrence and a 43% decreased chance of dying.

Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that cancer-treatment protocols involve guidelines about getting sufficient physical activity, stating that these associations suggest that even minimal exercise is associated with statistically significantly reduced hazards of recurrence and mortality among breast cancer patients.

Sources: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAR 15, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
MAR 15, 2020
Immune Cells Can Attack Tumors Remotely
The body's immune system is able to identify the cancerous cells of a tumor and launch an attack against them.
MAR 22, 2020
Cancer
MAR 22, 2020
What is "Shotgun ion mobility mass spectrometry sequencing"?
Research published recently in Nature Communications highlights a new method of mapping an essential family of polysacch ...
APR 02, 2020
Immunology
APR 02, 2020
Transforming T Cells into Powerful Memory Cells That Target Cancer
New cancer treatments are now based on harnessing the power of the human body’s own immune cells to get the job do ...
APR 06, 2020
Cancer
APR 06, 2020
Should we tell people about their cancer diagnoses?
While it might seem obvious to some cultures, sharing a patient’s diagnosis with him/her is not necessarily the no ...
APR 13, 2020
Cancer
APR 13, 2020
The Unexpected Role of Mono in Cancer Progression
In the past, the go-to drugs have always been small molecules. These small molecules would interact with the cell and ac ...
APR 27, 2020
Cancer
APR 27, 2020
The Tumor Suppressor and its Regulator: An Indirect Oncogene
Oncogenes, mutations in genes that promote cancer growth, have long been easy targets for cancer research due to the dir ...
Loading Comments...