A study adds to the growing evidence that a healthy diet and exercise can really benefit women diagnosed with breast cancer. The study followed almost 1,500 women who had been treated for breast cancer. About 30% of the women stuck with a healthy diet and moderate exercise program after treatment. These women were about 50% more likely to survive during the 10-year follow-up period compared to women who didn't stick with the diet and exercise program.
Importantly, this study found that the survival benefits were seen only in women who stuck to BOTH a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. A good diet alone or regular exercise alone didn't offer the same benefits.
It's also gratifying to see that obese women benefited from a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. That’s important because obesity has a negative effect on women with breast cancer. It's good to know that a healthy diet and regular exercise can overcome obesity's negative effects.
The structure of the diet and the level of exercise required are important, too. Women with improved survival ate a healthy diet that included 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day and exercised moderately (a 30-minute brisk walk 6 days a week).
If you're being treated or have been treated for breast cancer, try to make exercise and a healthy diet part of your daily routine. Think of a healthier lifestyle as another important part of your treatment plan. Talk to your doctor about how much and how often you should exercise. To learn more about good nutrition, visit breastcancer.org's Nutrition Section. Find the right diet and exercise routine for YOU and then do your best to stick with it!
This article was made possible by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline.