In a nutshell
This analysis examined whether post-diagnosis running and walking differ significantly in their association with breast cancer mortality.
Physical activity after the diagnosis of breast cancer has been shown to improve quality of life, physical strength, and significantly reduce symptoms of depression and fatigue associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. A recent analysis has also demonstrated physical activity to be associated with delayed cancer progression and extended survival. In order to further understand the association between physical activity and cancer mortality, this analysis investigated whether running and walking differ in their effect on breast cancer outcome.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed the outcomes of 986 women previously diagnosed with breast cancer and participating in frequent physical activity since their diagnosis. 272 frequent runners and 714 frequent walkers were identified. The amount of daily physical activity performed, or energy expended, was expressed in MET-hours (metabolic equivalent of a task). One MET-hour is roughly equivalent to a one kilometer run.
During an average follow-up of 9 years, 46 cases of breast cancer mortality were recorded. Among all 986 women, the risk of breast cancer mortality was estimated to be decreased by 23.9% for patients active at least one MET-hour per day. Running was associated with significantly greater reductions in the risk of mortality than walking. Among often runners, the risk of breast cancer mortality was estimated to be decreased by 40.9% per each daily MET-hour of running. Breast cancer mortality was estimated to be reduced by 87.4% for patients participating in 1.8 to 3.6 MET-hours of daily running. Breast cancer mortality was estimated to be reduced by 95.4% for patients participating in more than 3.6 MET-hours of daily running. In contrast, among often walkers, only a non-significant decrease in the risk of breast cancer mortality was estimated for each MET-hour of daily walking.
The bottom line
This analysis concluded that post-diagnosis running is associated with increased cancer survival compared to walking.
The fine print
Although a statistically significant association was demonstrated between running and cancer survival, it may be assumed that women participating in frequent physical activity are inherently healthier. This in addition to the small number of breast cancer related mortalities analyzed may have significantly influenced results.
Consult with your physician or a professional regarding the optimal physical activity suited for your condition.
Published By :
International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer
Jan 27, 2014
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