Exercisers have better breast cancer survival says study

In collaboration with the Press Association

Obese or overweight breast cancer patients who reported getting the most exercise in the year before their diagnosis have higher chances of beating the disease, says a new study.

The research adds to a substantial and growing volume of evidence that regular exercise can be beneficial in the fight against breast cancer.

Women with higher than average body mass indexes (BMI) who reported higher levels of moderate to vigorous exercise in the year before they were diagnosed had the highest rates of survival at five years, the study found.

"We already have good evidence that getting enough activity can reduce a woman's risk of getting breast cancer in the first place," said Ed Yong of Cancer Research UK.

"And Cancer Research UK scientists have also found that exercise could help breast cancer survivors to recover from their disease, and stop it from coming back.

"Now, it seems that keeping active can also improve a woman's chances of beating breast cancer if it develops.

"This study found that only overweight or obese women experienced the benefits of activity on breast cancer survival. But other studies have shown that women of all weights can reduce their risk of breast cancer by keeping active."

The study was conducted by the University of Carolina and published in the journal Cancer.

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