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Exercise is best for reducing breast cancer recurrence

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Breast cancer survival rates are very high compared with other forms of cancer, but in some cases, the cancer does comes back. New research highlights key recommendations that breast cancer survivors can incorporate into their lifestyle so as to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. reports that new research recommends physical activity and weight management as key lifestyle choices that can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

The vast majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage, with very promising survival rates. Over 90 percent of breast cancer patients are at an early stage at the time of diagnosis, and the 10-year survival rate is currently estimated at 83 percent.

However, in some cases, the cancer does recur, either in the same form or more aggressively than the first time. Research suggests that overall, almost 30 percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage develop metastasis later on.

New research examines some of the lifestyle factors that influence breast cancer recurrence rates.

The research was conducted by Dr. Ellen Warner, of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada, in collaboration with coauthor Dr. Julia Hamer, and the findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) .

The study consists of a meta-analysis of 67 articles that examine several lifestyle choices, including exercise, weight management, dietary patterns, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The review investigates the impact of these lifestyle changes on the chances of recurring cancer and summarizes key points.

Exercise, weight management the most important lifestyle changes

While the authors present their key findings as recommendations to patients, they also caution that the findings should not be seen as a panacea for every breast cancer survivor. Some forms of breast cancer are particularly aggressive and may come back despite the most vigorous efforts to make lifestyle changes.

"Patients should not be made to feel that inadequate lifestyle changes have led to recurrence of their cancer," the authors note.

Of all the lifestyle factors reviewed, physical activity and avoiding weight gain seem to have the most beneficial effect on the odds of breast cancer recurrence.

2017.04.08 / 11:48
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