In brief: Exercise helps breast cancer survivors live longer

In brief

Exercise helps breast cancer survivors live longer

Published: March, 2014

Women with breast cancer who walk three or more hours a week (or exercise more strenuously for shorter periods) have a lower risk of dying of breast cancer than those who exercise less. These are the findings of a study published in the May 25, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

After adjusting for factors such as smoking and diet, the study authors found that exercise lowered the rate of recurrence no matter what size the cancer was when it was diagnosed. (Women whose cancers had spread to other parts of the body did not participate in the study.) Compared to women who walked less than three hours per week, those who walked three to five hours saw the greatest drop in mortality risk — a 50% reduction over 4–18 years.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »