Health experts say there are some ways breast cancer patients can improve their chances at prolonged lives following the diagnosis. However, one form of treatment that yields particularly great results is regular physical activity, say researchers.
Hence, Sunnybrook Health Sciences’ Dr. Ellen Warner at the Odette Cancer Center, who coauthored the latest research review says that breast cancer patients both newly diagnosed or at any point in their survivorship phase need to keep a close eye on their weight and exercise regularly to avoid fat buildup which can worsen their situation.
Julie Hamer and Dr. Warner joined forces and reviewed at least 70 articles that linked regular physical activity and healthier lifestyles with breast cancer recurrence, advancement, and patient survivorship. The researchers discovered that regular workout sessions dramatically reduced the risk of dying from the disease by 40 percent in breast cancer patients, as opposed to individuals who embraced a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity, say the researchers, helps with weight management, as saturated fats in themselves increase the risk of recurrence, and reduces side effects from radiation, chemo, and hormone therapy.
So far, the scientists were able to determine that obese breast cancer patients already have a greater risk of dying from the disease. However, it is not yet clear by how much losing weight actually reduces the risks of dying from complications associated with the disease. Hence, further research is needed, wrote the health experts in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Interestingly enough, however, it was concluded that following a strict dietary plan does not necessarily impact in any way the progression of the disease. While those who ate healthier foods such as whole grains, fruits, chicken, vegetables, breast cancer patients who feasted on processed meats, processed grains, and red meat were as vulnerable to risk factors and complications as their healthier lifestyle-promoter counterparts. Nevertheless, the researchers noted that saturated fats do increase the risk of dying from the disease. At the same time, it was concluded that soy products stalls the recurrence of breast cancer and might even prevent it altogether. Needless to say, Dr. Warner also recommended breast cancer patients to renounce smoking, as quitting early in the diagnosis greatly improves recovery and overall survival.
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