Women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer need to exercise regularly to survive longer.
Physical exercise is associated with lowering of levels of ovarian hormones and this could be one reason behind the better survival chances of breast cancer patients who regularly exercised for about an hour daily.
Researchers had looked into the participants from the Nurses' Health Study who were diagnosed with breast cancer of stages I, II, and III. The data was collected and followed up till June 2002. Physical activity was measured in terms of metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours.
The results showed that women who did physical activities like fast paced walking etc for 3 to 8 MET hours per week had a 20% lower risk of death from breast cancer when compared with women who did less than 3 MET hours of physical activity in a week. The rate of survival from breast cancer related death increases with increasing physical activities done per week and is the maximum for women who exercise for 24 MET hours or more per week.
Researchers said that women reduce their physical activities after breast cancer diagnosis, the greater reduction being made by women who are obese. It is necessary for such women to maintain the level of physical activities recommended by the relevant government agencies in order to increase their chances of survival.
Reference: Journal Of American Medical Association, Press Release, May 2005