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Exercise and Body Size Impact Mortality in Breast Cancer Patients

Posted Feb 12 2010 6:27am
The importance of exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight and body mass index (BMI) for reducing breast cancer risk is well known.  Research has also shown that incorporating exercise into one's daily routine after breast cancer surgery can improve quality of life and breast cancer outcomes.  A new breast cancer study confirms the importance of physical activity and body size for breast cancer patients.

In this new breast cancer research studyinvestigators examined the relationship between BMI and physical activity with all-cause mortality in breast cancer patients.  For this studyresearchers enrolled over 4,000 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and asked them to complete questionnaires designed to assess their level of physical activity and BMI before their breast cancer diagnosis.  The relationship between these characteristics and the number of deaths was determined over the next 8 years.  The results showed that
  • Any recreational physical activity during the 3 years before being diagnosed with breast cancer reduced the risk of death by 34% for women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer.
  • Overweight women over the age of 50 with ER+ breast cancer had about a 39% greater chance of dying.
  • ER+ breast cancer patients over 50 years of age with a BMI greater than 30 (obese) showed a 33% greater chance of dying.
The results of this study confirm the importance of incorporating exercise into our daily routine and maintaining a healthy body weight.  Not only does exercise reduce the risk of getting breast cancerit helps reduce the risk of death for women who do get breast cancer.  As a populationwe clearly do not get enough exercise.  Our lives have become so full with workfamilyand other responsibilities that we often fail to take care of ourselves.  But getting enough exercise each day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.  The American Cancer Society has some excellent information on how to fit physical activity into your life and make it work for you.

Daily exercise is one of many lifestyle modifications that you can make to reduce your breast cancer risk.  To learn about other changes you can make to reduce your personal breast cancer riskread my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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