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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.

This section will feature a weekly report which generated a lot of interest when it was first featured on the Medical Breakthroughs site. Come back weekly to read each highlight as we "Play It Again!"
Reported March 2015 Email a Friend

Live Longer With Cancer

SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 13-million Americans are living with cancer. After a diagnosis, many patients search for ways to improve their odds of beating the disease. Now, a new study is showing there are simple ways to up your chances of living longer. 

Diane Mapes punches a bag in the gym, but for the past four years, she’s been fighting another opponent, breast cancer.

“I got the full Monty with regard to treatment, um double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and then radiation,” Mapes told Ivanhoe.

Mapes says staying active during and after treatment kept her energy levels up.

“Exercise, in general, it made a big difference for me,” Mapes told Ivanhoe.

Anne McTiernan, PhD, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, recently conducted an analysis of 85 studies that included more than 160,000 breast cancer survivors. One key finding was that patients who exercise live longer. 

“Being as active as they can be for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week,” McTiernan told Ivanhoe.

Another important factor for survival was maintaining a healthy weight.

McTiernan told Ivanhoe, “Women who are obese or overweight had about a 30 to 50% increased risk of dying either of breast cancer or of dying overall.”

To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. One pound equals 3,500 calories, so you need to reduce your calories by 500 to 1,000 per day to lose about two pounds per week. The researchers also found eating foods that contain fiber and soy, and consuming less saturated fat meant a longer life for cancer patients.

Mapes says boxing helps her channel the anger she has toward the cancer and the treatments.

“When I box, I always think of Taxotere, which took my hair and, and kind of messed with my joints and still does,” Mapes told Ivanhoe.

A simple way to help her feel better and maybe also live longer!

The American Institute for Cancer Research has 10 recommendations for cancer prevention that doctors say breast cancer survivors should also follow. Some of these include limiting the consumption of sugary drinks, alcohol, salt, and red meat.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Hitchcock, Supervising Producer and Field Producer; Mary Stufano, Assistant Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer and Jamie Koczan, Editor. 



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