Like Many, Black and White Breast Cancer Survivors May Need to Exercise More

Like most American women (and men), most breast cancer survivors may also not be exercising enough to reap its many health benefits, suggests a new study. Yet it’s African American survivors who are even less likely to meet the activity recommendations compared to white women.Young Woman In White Sneakers Walking Outdoors

The study was published today in Cancer. It’s important because a lot of research has linked regular physical activity among survivors to to better health and longer lives.

AICR recommends that survivors follow the same activity recommendations as for prevention. Here’s a few examples of studies that have found how activity benefits survivors.

In this study, about 1,700 women diagnosed with breast cancer reported their activity habits both before their diagnosis and six months afterwards. The women ranged in age from 20 to 74, and about half were African American. Researchers converted the women’s activity habits into a common unit of measure: metabolic equivalent hours (METs).

Six months after diagnosis, 59 percent of all the patients reported being less active. Only about one-third of women reported they were active at least 150 minutes per week compared to 60 percent before diagnosis. Continue reading


New Survey: How Fit is Your City?

Washington, DC, now ranks as America’s fittest metropolitan area, with Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, not far behind, according to a new survey. The American Fitness Index survey takes into account several factors related to cancer prevention, such as being active, obesity and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

AICR estimates that if everyone were to be active, stay lean, and eat healthy, Americans could prevent about one-third of the most common cancers.Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 12.23.13pm

You can read the full report and see how your city ranks at American Fitness Index.

The survey, by the American College of Sports Medicine, looks at measures of personal health and community/environmental health. Personal health indicators included the percent of the population that smokes, is obese, meets government activity guidelines, and eats three or more vegetables a day.

Community health indicators include the percent of people who bike to work and walk, as well as the amount of parks and recreational centers the city has. The survey also used data on how much money the region spends on park expense per resident, and its physical activity requirements for schools.

The cities that ranked lowest in overall fitness include Memphis, Louisville and Oklahoma City.

This is the seventh annual American Fitness Index report. Last year’s fittest city was Minneapolis, but this survey used different methods and new measures from previous reports so they cannot be evenly compared.


Study: Male Cancer Survivors Who are Active Live Longer

Research already shows that being active can reduce the risk of developing several cancers. Now comes a study that suggests for men, taking that brisk daily walk after a cancer diagnosis may lengthen your life.bigstock-Walking-2525305

The study was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, and it adds to a growing body of research suggesting that exercise can have significant health benefits for cancer survivors.

“The main take away message is that physical activity improves survival in men with cancer, says I-Min Lee, MD, ScD, an epidemiologist at the  Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

”There have been previous studies, examining survival in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients, showing similar findings.  Our study included not only survivors of these cancers, but of other cancers “

For the study, Lee and her colleagues looked at data collected in 1988 from a group of about 1,000 male cancer survivors. On average the men had been diagnosed six years previously – in 1982. In 1988 the men reported on their activity habits.  They also answered questions about their weight, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and what foods they ate. The data was updated five years later. Continue reading