Even moderate exercise increases breast cancer survival

Even moderate exercise increases breast cancer survival

Meeting just minimum requirements for exercise of 2.5 hours of speed-walking per week, can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer return and increase survival; not simply reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place.

Researchers from The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York followed 1340 women registered in the Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle and Cancer Prognosis (DELCaP) study. Data on exercise before diagnosis, during treatment and thereafter at one and two year intervals was assimilated. All women were stage I, II or III breast cancer patients, with a high risk of recurrence.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the following exercise levels for adult:

  • At least 2.5 hours to 5 hours of exercise at moderate intensity per week; (fast walking is considered moderate intensity), or,
  • Vigorous exercise for 75 minutes to 2.5 hours of per week; (running or other high-intensity cardio is considered vigorous intensity), plus,
  • Muscle strengthening exercises on two or more days a week.

The Study results show that even women who only achieved the minimum 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week had:

  • a 55% lower risk of recurrence compared to women who didn’t meet the minimum guidelines
  • a 68% lower risk of dying compared to women who didn’t meet the minimum guidelines

And women who started exercising only after breast cancer treatment was completed had a 46% lower risk of recurrence and a 43% lower risk of dying compared to women who didn’t meet the minimum guidelines.

Chris Woollams, a founder of CANCERactive and former Oxford University Biochemist said, “Now many of my Personal Prescription patients will be remembering that I’ve been saying 45 minutes to 60 minutes 3-4 times per week where you are out of breath for 25 minutes – for example, ‘speed walking’ is what you need to do if you have breast cancer. It may look a bit odd, but it’s exactly what you need.”

Go to: CANCERactive guidelines on diet and exercise


  1. Physical Activity before, during and after Chemotherapy, for high-risk breast cancer https://academic.oup.com/jnci/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jnci/djaa046/5814214?redirectedFrom=fulltext


  Approved by the Medical Board. Click Here 


2020 Research
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