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Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

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Unread 04-01-2004, 03:08 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

Though this article starts out talking about breast cancer, it moves on to talk about other cancers, including colon, endometrial, kidney, etc. Interesting stuff! :-)

Exercise Appears To Help Women Survive Cancer

Associated Press
March 30, 2004; Page D10

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Getting modest amounts of exercise, even just an easy half-hour walk a day, appears to improve women's chances of surviving breast cancer substantially.

Staying active has long been thought to lower the risk of getting cancer, but a new report says it may also be an important prescription for recovery.

The study found that women who exercised after breast cancer reduced their chance of dying from the disease by one-quarter to one-half, depending on how active they were.

"We know that physical activity has been shown to improve the quality of life for women with breast cancer," said Michelle Holmes of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "We conclude it may also help them live longer as well as better." Dr. Holmes presented her findings at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, a gathering of 13,500 researchers in Orlando.

Just how exercise might do this is unclear, though experts have several theories. Whatever the biological explanation, the researchers say moderate exercise is a safe recommendation that can improve cancer survivors' health in many ways.

People who walk and get other kinds of exercise are less likely to develop many common health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes. Several studies also suggest exercise can prevent breast and colon cancer, and it may also help stop endometrial, kidney and esophageal cancer.

Generally, doctors recommend at least 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five times a week. This might prevent colon cancer by speeding the movement of food through the intestines. Exercise might also reduce breast cancer by burning up stored fat that produces estrogen, which in turn can fuel breast-cancer growth.

Dr. Holmes's results were based on the Nurses Health Study, which has followed the health of almost 122,000 female nurses since 1976. The researchers looked at physical activity in 2,167 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer after the study began.

During as many as 16 years of follow-up, it turned out that those who got lots of exercise were most likely to survive their disease, although even a little bit helped.

Most of the women walked for exercise. Those who put in one to three hours a week at a leisurely three miles an hour lowered their risk of dying from breast cancer by one-quarter, compared with the most sedentary women. Those who walked three to eight hours a week cut their risk in half.

The researchers waited until two years after the women learned of their cancer before measuring their exercise.

In another study at the conference, researchers from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., looked at the effects of lifelong exercise on the risk of endometrial cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in U.S. women. The study was conducted on 832 women in China, where this kind of cancer has nearly doubled since the 1970s. Those who stayed active through exercise, housework and walking and cycling for errands had about a one-third lower risk of this form of cancer.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press
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Unread 04-01-2004, 03:27 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

I must gush a bit. I read your posts daily. I hear you are the nutritionist guru for HS!
This web-site has kept me sane. Thank you for your wonderful words!

Yes exercise is very important. After my first chemo, I was scared to do anything. So tired. My Dr told me to get up and get moving.That exercise helps the fatigue. And it's true.
I just wish I could stop the steroid swell. Only 2 more chemos left!

BTW, have a safe trip!
Unread 04-01-2004, 04:28 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

Hi Siren,

We finally agree LOL....

I also believe in the exercise part.

In February, when I saw my oncologist/gynocolgist he was soo soo pleased and told me that whatever I was doing, keep doing!!!

Well, what I have been doing more than anything else is exercise. I use to belong to a big gym but found that it bacame boring to me and way too time consuming.

Then I joined one of these 30 minute workouts very close to my house. It is different from curves because the equipment is all Nautilus and has free weights which is better for you. Curves' machines are based on hydrolics.

I may not have lost alot of weight but I definately did lose inches and am toning my body while having fun and being healthy.

Maureen,,,,I go at night with some friends... Want to join us????

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Unread 04-01-2004, 07:24 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

Great article! Good info there! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Do you have the URL to the original article online?

To comply with online copyright law, we need to remove the article and quote a short paragraph with a link to the entire article in its original location.

If you can find the URL, post it...and we can edit the article to comply. Thanks for understanding. Its hard gathering good info and staying within the bounds of acceptable use!

Thanks! ((( Sirensong )))
Unread 04-01-2004, 09:03 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

And you know, this is going to be my challenge that I'll have to make a priority! I'm a very active person and pretty much go at full speed throughout the day. But a Type A personality is not the same as getting adequate amounts of exercise.

I work in Manhattan three days a week, and work from home the other two days. We've got the new baby so I want to spend as much time as I can with her (and dh, too, of course!). I'm actually looking into joining a gym in NYC that I could squeeze in at lunch time. It's really hard to fit everything you want to do in a day in just 24 hours.

When I get enough exercise, I feel better. Bottom line.

Thanks for the reminder, Siren!
Unread 04-02-2004, 11:54 AM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

Kathy --

A friend with recurrent breast cancer sent me the article. I can send her a note to see if she has the original link. But I think she just pulled it off the wire. The copyright notice is included on the article. Stuff from Associated Press -- right off the wire -- doesn't have a link, since it doesn't necessarily appear in any publication. I can do a search for a publication that may have picked up the piece.

LolaJene --

Thanks for the kind words! I think I also have a bit of steroid swell, since I'm still doing low-dose chemo. But it's hard to tell. Maybe I have just gained weight for other reasons. The walking doesn't seem to take any weight off. Even during my big Carbo/Taxol chemo, I tried to walk every day.

During the first chemo, I couldn't walk for a week, but my dad kept bugging me about it every day. Finally, I walked to the end of the driveway, and that's all I could handle. The next day, I walked a little ways down the street, and then stopped. But after a week or so, I was up to three miles with huge hill in between.

During chemo, I'd walk on Days 1-2, not walk on Days 3-5, and try to get back into walking on Day 6. By Day 8, I was usually up to three miles again. I really believe that the walking helped with fatique and healing. It's also great for your lymphatic system.

Maureenie --

Walk walk walk! I remember when you were too tired to walk. You're right: A Type A personality (which I also have) and running around all day isn't the same as 40 minutes of continuous walking or running or weights.

Rosalie --

I know you don't really disagree with *everything* I say. ;-) I also need to join a gym or some sort of half-hour thing, because since surgery and chemo, my muscle tone is totally gone. I have a hard time committing to a gym because I hate contracts, and what if I don't go? My sister asked at her small gym, and they said I could come in anytime and pay $10 a time, which is a nice option. So I will try it when I get back from Australia. :-)

s to all!
Unread 04-02-2004, 12:08 PM
Links Galore

Three sets of links:

Shortened versions of the total article text appeared in the following places:






This link includes information about how many people are ignorant that exercise can help prevent cancer, and notes that 4 out of 5 people are aware of a dietary link to cancer prevention.


The American Institute for Cancer Research focuses solely on the link between cancer and diet. A summary of their landmark study -- which I only stumbled on while searching for the above links -- is linked below:

Unread 04-02-2004, 12:14 PM
Exercise Appears to Help Women Survive Cancer

I totally agree with this thread about exercise. I have exercised all my life, even if just long walks with the dog and it makes me feel better not only physically but emotionally too. I believe getting exercise as soon as possible after my surgeries and staying as active as possible during chemo helped me recover more quickly. (Of course it's important not to over do)
I believe exercise , a little time each day in the sunshine and fresh air, lots of colorful friuts and vegetables, pure water does a lot to manitain and restore health.
It is spring and I suggest that if possible we we each plant a garden, to grow and own food to sustain and medicine to heal us!

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