Wednesday, March 15, 2017

24% dip in the disease's recurrence is possible

Exercise can help breast cancer patients diminish risks and bolster their quality of life

Exercise is hardly a cure-all for breast cancer.

But it can help.

Stacy Simon
According to an American Cancer Society story by senior editor Stacy Simon that I just found on the website, exercise "is not only safe and possible during and after breast cancer treatment, but it also can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life."

The ACS article states that studies have shown "certain kinds of exercise appear to help breast cancer survivors at high risk for arm, breast and chest swelling (lymphedema) avoid the condition."

The studies have also shown that "some types of exercise can improve symptoms" for those who already have breast cancer.

And, as might be expected, that regular exercise "significantly improves physical functioning and reduces fatigue."

Perhaps most important is that Simon's piece notes, too, that physical activity "has also been linked to a 24% decrease in breast cancer coming back, and a 34% decrease in breast cancer deaths."

Her story cautions, however, that women should first check with their doctors to determine the exercise best suited for them (and to ensure their safety) — and then, after surgery, to wait to heal properly before starting a physical regimen.

The ACS story also lists possible exercise benefits as strengthening of muscles (or, at least, lessening muscle deterioration), heightening self-esteem and lowering anxiety and depression risk, and, finally, helping to control weight — "itself a risk factor for breast cancer recurrence."

Details about the healing process can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at caregivers.

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