Enhancing Breast Cancer Survival with a Healthy Lifestyle

Key Takeaways:

  • A healthy lifestyle comprising regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and weight management could potentially enhance survival rates in breast cancer patients.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and a diet rich in fibrous foods and soy, with decreased fat intake, may increase survival likelihood.
  • General recommendations suggest that cancer survivors should adopt a plant-based diet, engage in regular physical activity, and manage their weight.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight has been shown to reduce the risk of eight different types of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Small lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity levels and adding more vegetables to the diet, can help in the journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle could potentially enhance the survival rates of breast cancer sufferers, as suggested by a comprehensive analysis. Engaging in regular physical activity, healthy dietary habits, and weight management could all play significant roles in improving their prognosis.

The meticulous review involved 85 studies and over 164,000 women across the globe. It concluded that the likelihood of survival for breast cancer patients might be connected with maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, a diet rich in fibrous foods and soy, and decreased fat intake, particularly saturated fats.

Current Evidence

However, the study, conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund International’s Continuous Update Project, does indicate that the evidence currently available does not provide strong enough grounds to make definitive recommendations particularly for breast cancer survivors.

Recommendations for Cancer Survivors

The findings lend support to AICR’s recommendations suggesting that every cancer survivor should adopt a plant-based diet, regular exercise, and maintain a healthy weight.

“While it is tricky to provide precise recommendations, the research seems to indicate that women who maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active, both pre and post-diagnosis, have greater chances not only of surviving a diagnosis of breast cancer but also of avoiding a second primary breast cancer”, according to Dr. Anne McTiernan, who headed the panel that wrote the report and is a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Further Research

“More research is required in order to understand the effects of other factors on the association between lifestyle and survival. These factors may include specific types of tumors, the stage at which a tumor is detected, previous cancer treatment, and socioeconomic factors,” she added.

Past research has indicated that maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk for eight types of cancers, including postmenopausal breast cancer, as per the AICR.

Plant-based Diet for Cancer Prevention

Alice Bender, the associate director for nutrition programs at AICR, comments, “We are aware that there are various reasons for women to follow a plant-based diet and to be active. This is significant both for cancer prevention and general health.”

She further advises, “For survivors, it’s important to commence small changes from wherever you may be at present. For instance, make the most of the moments when you feel your best to walk or indulge in some physical activity. Making use of pre-cut or frozen vegetables can be a simple way of enhancing your healthy diet.”

Every year in the United States, more than 232,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. As per AICR, presently, there are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

More Information

For additional information on breast cancer, kindly refer to the U.S. National Cancer Institute here.

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