- Question from SuesMom: Dr. Irwin, I saw that you've published on the effect of exercise on breast cancer biomarkers and the influence of physical activity on obesity. How much exercise is recommended to influence the effect on biomarkers, and what does that mean?
- Answers - Melinda Irwin A biomarker, or biological marker, is a surrogate marker of breast cancer risk or prognosis. So in studies where we can't follow women or we don't have enough time to follow them until some have a recurrence, we'll look at biomarkers that are related to recurrence, for example. Some biomarkers are body fat, estrogen, and insulin. So what we do is look at the effect of exercise on these biomarkers and if we see a favorable change, for example in insulin and we know insulin is highly related to recurrence and death, then we can assume exercise may be as well. Research is ongoing to answer the question about how much exercise is enough. Currently, the recommended amount is 30 minutes, 5 days per week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. However, if you're currently doing that, increasing the intensity or duration is recommended.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Weight Management During and After Breast Cancer Treatment featured Cyndi Thomson, Ph.D., R.D. and Melinda Irwin Ph.D., M.P.H. answering your questions on managing weight during and after breast cancer treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2007.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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