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How exercise may boost breast cancer care

Tuesday April 28th, 2015

Programmes of physical exercise can help reduce the side-effects faced by women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, according to a new study.

This also means that dosage of drugs needs to be adjusted less frequently, Dutch researchers found.

In the study involved some 230 women, just 12% of those undertaking a programme of moderate intensity needed changes to their chemotherapy.

This compared with 34% of those who were not given an exercise programme.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, said that in the past women undergoing chemotherapy would be encouraged to rest - rather than worrying about keeping fit.

Researcher Neil Aaronson said: "Actually, it is better for these patients to be as active as possible. Our study shows that even low intensity exercise has a positive effect on the side effects of the chemotherapy. That is good news for those who really don't feel like going to the gym.

"Small amounts of exercise are already beneficial compared to being non-active."

He warned: "More research is needed into the relationship between the exact chemotherapy dosage received and long term survival and the chance of recurrence, before we can say anything about the positive effect of exercise on clinical outcomes."

Journal of Clinical Oncology 27 April 2015

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Fitness | Pharmaceuticals | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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