Previous findings have indicated regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing a number of diseases, including heart disease and various forms of cancer. Recent research, however, has taken the benefits of exercise a step further ...
Breast cancer patients who exercised moderately -- three to five hours a week -- reduced their odds of dying from the disease by about half, compared to sedentary women. In fact, according to the study's lead researcher, breast cancer patients have little to lose and much to gain from exercise.

These findings fuel the fire that healthy lifestyle factors, such as eating right and exercising regularly, induce significant health benefits.

The Study: Exercise Benefits

Researchers studied nearly 3,000 breast cancer patients, tracking their health and exercise habits for up to 18 years.

After following the women through 2002, researchers discovered any amount of weekly exercise increased a patient's odds of surviving breast cancer; the benefit remained steady regardless of whether women were diagnosed early or after their cancer had spread. Further:

  • Women who exercised for one hour to less than three hours a week had a risk of death from breast cancer that was about 20 percent lower than those who exercised less.
  • Only 20 out of 335 women who exercised three to five hours a week died from breast cancer.
  • Physical exercise was particularly beneficial to those with hormone-responsive breast cancer, the most common form of the cancer.
Journal of the American Medical Association May 25, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 20: 2479-2486

San Francisco Chronicle May 25, 2005

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