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Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors (excerpt)

Combining cardiovascular and resistance training seems to provide the most benefits

By Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM

One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer; the United States has the highest incidences of breast cancer in the world. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in women after skin cancer, and second to lung cancer as the most common cause of cancer-related death. The survival rate is highest if detected early. There are an estimated 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. Although the vast majority of breast cancer occurs in females, a small percentage does occur in men.


The American Cancer Society recommends regular physical activity and a healthy diet to prevent cancer (Kushi, Byers et al. 2006). Research suggests that regular exercise may decrease breast cancer risk (McTiernan, Kooperberg et al. 2003; Eliassen, Hankinson et al. 2010), particularly when performed at a moderate intensity level (Friedenreich, Courneya et al. 2001).


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