DETROIT – October is breast cancer awareness month, a disease that one in eight women will develop in their lifetime.
Researchers are looking for an effective way to both reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and up the odds of survival.
There is good news when it comes to exercise and breast cancer. Recent research shows working out benefits women fighting the disease. Research shows being more active could greatly reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.
“The magnitude of the benefits seen with increased activity was quite substantial. Somewhere 40 to 50 percent chance of reducing the risk of cancer coming back and even greater degrees in reduction in death,” Dr. Thomas Budd, with the Cleveland Clinic, said.
Budd was one of the study authors and said more than 1,000 patients took part. He said while it’s known that exercising can be beneficial, researchers wanted to collect more evidence about how it could impact someone both before and after their cancer diagnosis.
He said researchers learned that doing something as simple as walking for a half hour each day made a big difference. Exercise was done in addition to standard cancer treatments.
Budd adds that the data suggests it’s never too late to start exercising if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Patients who did the worst were those that had very little activity. Another important finding was that patients who were inactive before treatment, but who became active one year or two years later also had decreases in recurrence in breast cancer and death that were similar in size or magnitude with patients who had great degrees of activity," Budd said.
Budd and the research team plan to continue studying the science behind exercising. In the meantime, he encourages everyone to get moving.
HPV vaccine and risk of cervical cancer
A new study confirms the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer.
Previous research has shown the vaccine protects against HPV infection, and other pre-cancerous conditions.
Swedish scientists tracked nearly 1.7 million women between the ages of 10 and 30 for 11 years. Those who were vaccinated before age 17 were 88 percent less likely to develop cervical cancer than their unvaccinated peers.
The vaccination between 17 and 30 years old reduced the risk by half.