This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: Regular physical activity (exercise) lowers the risk of breast cancer (see Table 4).
After treatment for breast cancer, being active may lower the risk of:
Regular physical activity has other health benefits for breast cancer survivors. It improves mood, physical condition and movement, which can improve quality of life [1-2].
Learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.
Study selection criteria: Prospective cohort studies with at least 900 participants, pooled analyses and meta-analyses.
Table notes: A relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. A relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.
MET (metabolic equivalent) hours are often used as a unit of measure for physical activity. One MET hour equals the energy used to sit quietly for one hour. Activities are assigned MET scores based on this measure.
For example, walking is 3 MET hours and swimming is 7 MET hours. Moderate activities, like mowing the lawn or slow dancing, range from 3-6 MET hours and vigorous activities, like playing tennis or jogging, score higher than 6 MET hours.
Among women ages 46-64:
Among women ages 65 and older:
Sig = Statistically significant trend of increasing survival with increasing levels of activity
* Results combined the risk of recurrence and breast cancer-specific mortality.
† Results also showed significant decreases in breast cancer recurrence.
‡ Among survivors who had estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers, there was no difference in risk of late recurrence (5 or more years after diagnosis) between those who got the most exercise compared to those who got the least, 0.89 (0.73-1.09).
§ All participants had survived estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer for at least 5 years.
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