Physical exercise is associated with survival among breast cancer survivors, new Roswell Park study finds

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby


New Roswell Park Cancer Institute research shows that physical exercise is associated with extended survival among breast cancer survivors.

The study, which was led by Rikki Cannioto, PhD, EdD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park, showed that among people with high-risk breast cancer, those who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous levels of physical activity before and after their diagnosis had a “statistically significant reduction” in their chance of cancer recurrence or death.

The study analyzed the physical activity patterns of breast cancer patients over time. Those who met activity thresholds before and after treatment had better outcomes. The study found that even lower levels of regular exercise lowered the rate of death.

“When considering activity from before diagnosis and after treatment, we found that patients meeting the minimum Guidelines at both time points experienced significantly reduced hazards of disease recurrence and mortality — 55% and 68%, respectively,” Dr. Cannioto said in a Friday press release.

The guidelines are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends adults engage in at least 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

“Patients who did not meet the physical activity Guidelines before diagnosis, but who reported meeting the Guidelines at their two-year follow-up experienced a significant survival advantage of 46% decreased chance of recurrence and 43% decreased chance of mortality,” the press release adds.