A new study conducted by researchers at Strathclyde and Dundee universities has found that regular exercise may be more beneficial to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer as it reduces the risk of depression and improves the quality of life in the long run.
The study was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and involved 203 women diagnosed with breast cancer who had taken part in the 12-week supervised group exercise program during treatment for early-stage breast cancer.
The researchers reassessed around 87 women after a period of five years and found that those who remained physically active over the study period had far lower levels of depression compared to those who were not physically active while the quality of life was also higher in such women. The study has been published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
"The results of this study were much more positive than we had expected, with evidence of lasting benefits, including increased positive mood and more active daily living. In particular, the women given the group exercise intervention were still achieving on average 50 to 350 minutes of extra physical activity per week compared to the controls - and this could most likely provide considerable health benefits to these cancer survivors", lead researcher Dr Anna Campbell said.