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Few breast cancer survivors maintain adequate physical activity despite benefits
Date:4/17/2013

SEATTLE Breast cancer survivors are among the women who could most benefit from regular physical activity, yet few meet national exercise recommendations during the 10 years after being diagnosed, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Prior studies and available evidence show a strong association between physical activity and reduced mortality, extended survival and higher quality of life among breast cancer survivors. With 2.9 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. and another 80,000 added annually, there is considerable interest in the factors that promote health and well-being among these women.

The current study, published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, followed an ethnically diverse group of 631 breast cancer survivors ages 18-64 from New Mexico, Los Angeles County and western Washington for 10 years. Recreational aerobic activity was ascertained for each woman via interviews and questionnaires the year before diagnosis and again two, five, and 10 years after enrollment into the study.

Prior to diagnosis, 34 percent of the women met U.S. physical activity guidelines. This percentage remained unchanged two years later. The percentage of women who complied with the activity guidelines increased to 39.5 percent at five years but then dropped to 21.4 percent at 10 years. Overall, researchers found that fewer than 8 percent of the survivors met U.S. physical activity guidelines at all of the study time points.

U.S. physical activity guidelines call for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity. Researchers focused on 16 recreational physical activities: fast walking, jogging, running, hiking, aerobics, bicycling, swimming, tennis, golf, skiing, Nordic track, fast dancing, bowling, rowing, horseback riding and light calisthenics.

"The American Cancer Society recommends
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Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@gmail.com
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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