Monday, June 11, 2007

Exercise plus good food can halve breast cancer deaths

Eating healthily and taking regular exercise can slash a breast cancer
victim's risk of dying, according to scientists.

They found that walking briskly for half an hour and eating five portions of
fruit and vegetables a day halved the chances of dying from the disease,
even if a woman was obese.

In the first study to look at the impact of both diet and physical activity
on breast cancer survival, a team from the University of California at San
Diego studied 1,490 women with an average age of 50.

The women, who had all undergone primary therapy for early-stage breast
cancer, were taking part in the Women's Healthy Eating and Living study,
looking at the effects of lifestyle on health.

The researchers found that women who were both physically active and had a
healthy diet were much more likely to survive for between five and 11 years
than the rest of the group.

Only around 7 per cent of the 'healthyliving' women died within 11 years -
about half that seen for the others taking part in the study.

Dr John Pierce, from the university's Moores Cancer Centre, said: "We
demonstrate in this study of breast cancer survivors that even if a woman is
overweight, if she eats at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a
day and walks briskly for 30 minutes, six days a week, her risk of death
from her disease goes down by 50 per cent. The key is that you must do

The findings are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical

Because of the strength of the findings, the scientists now want to see if
taking steps to change diet and physical activity affects breast cancer

They suggest that a healthy lifestyle should be routinely prescribed as part
of breast cancer treatment.

The findings were welcomed by cancer charities yesterday.

Dr Sarah Cant of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: "This initial study is
encouraging - breast cancer patients tell us that they would like more
information about beneficial lifestyle changes can make, and we look forward
to further research in this

"We also know that regular exercise helps to reduce the risk of developing
breast cancer, so Breakthrough Breast Cancer encourages all women to lead a
healthy lifestyle, which includes taking regular exercise and eating a
balanced diet."

Liz Caroll, head of clinical services at Breast Cancer Care, said: "More and
more evidence is emerging clearly pointing to the potential benefits
exercise and a healthy diet may have in improving breast cancer survival

"It is important to stress that regular exercise and a healthy diet are
always beneficial in maintaining good health."

Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK, said: "The results of this study add
to mounting evidence that adopting a healthy lifestyle might also play a
role in cancer survival, as well as helping to prevent the disease.

"It is really interesting that the effects observed in this study only
occurred when the women both exercised and ate healthily.

"We still need to find out more about exactly how lifestyle changes can
influence breast cancer survival.

"What we do know is that maintaining a healthy bodyweight, eating sensibly
and taking regular exercise is the key to a healthy life, as it can help
reduce your risk of several types of cancer, as well as many other disease



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this new research. I am an 8 year breast cancer survivor whose cancer was caused by estrogen replacement therapy. I have been a runner for 32 years, a group fitness instructor for 23 years, and an avid fruit and vegetable eater all of my adult life. The powerful estrogen in the HRT compound given to me caused severe breast cell hyperplasia and cancer that grew for 9 years before I found a lump in my breast. Even an outstanding lifestyle could not counteract the powerful carcinogenic effect of the prescription estrogen, which is now on the government's know human carcinogen list. But, today I am a 58 year old survivor who warns everyone I can about the risks of prescription estrogen. I run 10 miles a day and have been a vegetarian for 8 years who eats 9 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This new research gives me even greater determination to fight for my life every day with my exercise and diet.

3:43 PM  

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