Exercise is considered beneficial for aiding recovery after breast cancer, but according to US researchers many women are not doing enough.
In the journal, Cancer, it was reported that only a third (35%) of women who have survived breast cancer met the recommended activity levels.
This conclusion was reached following an in-depth study into the pre and post-diagnosis exercise levels of 1,735 women, aged 20-74 who had breast cancer between 2008 and 2011.
Physical activity guidelines in the US (and the UK) state that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week.
Following this discovery, concern has been growing in the UK for the welfare of breast cancer survivors who are failing to get enough exercise during recovery.
In fact, a number of breast cancer groups are calling for improved support to help women keep active at this crucial time post breast cancer.
Caroline Dalton, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “Although this study was conducted in America rather than the UK, the results suggest that women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis need better support to keep active.”
“There are no specific guidelines in place at the moment to tell us precisely how much physical activity is needed after a breast cancer diagnosis, but Breakthrough Breast Cancer suggests aiming for 3.5 hours per week, after checking with your treatment team to see what is appropriate for you.”
Dalton added that regular physical activity not only helps to improve a patient’s chances of survival, but has also been linked to preventing the disease from returning.
“Keeping active may also help patients cope, both during and after treatment, by improving general health and well-being”, she said.