Many Breast Cancer Patients Failing to Meet Exercise Guidelines

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Many Breast Cancer Patients Failing to Meet Exercise Guidelines
Many Breast Cancer Patients Failing to Meet Exercise Guidelines

(HealthDay News) -- Only 35% of women meet current physical activity guidelines after breast cancer diagnosis, with African-American women less likely to meet guidelines, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Brionna Y. Hair, MPH, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues assessed pre- and post-diagnosis physical activity levels in a cohort of 1,735 women, aged 20 to 74 years, diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2008 and 2011. 

The authors examined the correlation between demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics and activity levels.

The researchers found that, after diagnosis of breast cancer, only 35% of participants met the current physical activity guidelines. Fifty-nine percent of patients reported a decrease in activity after diagnosis, with the average study participant reducing their activity by 15 metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours per week.

RELATED: Breast Cancer Resource Center

African-American women were less likely than white women to meet national physical activity guidelines after diagnosis, after adjustment for potential confounding variables (odds ratio for reporting insufficient or sedentary behavior, 1.38), and they reported less weekly post-diagnosis physical activity (12 vs. 14 MET hours; P = 0.13).

"Despite compelling evidence demonstrating the benefits of physical activity after a diagnosis of breast cancer, it is clear that more work needs to be done to promote physical activity in patients with breast cancer, especially among African-American women," the researchers wrote.


  1. Hair BY, Hayes S, Tse CK et al. Racial differences in physical activity among breast cancer survivors: Implications for breast cancer care. Cancer. 2014;doi:10.1002/cncr.28630.

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