Other than skin cancer, breast cancer, as some of you may already know, is one of the common cancers in the United States, as reported in the latest CDC website for the disease. Meanwhile, Breastcancer.org says that one in eight women in the country is more likely to develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. That is about 12 percent of the total population of women in the United States.

It is therefore highly expected that among many cancers, breast cancer is getting, to some extent, more attention in the scientific world–that is to say, more research and money are being put into finding better treatment, and cure, for both breast cancer patients and survivors.

For the most part, many research focus on finding better diet and behavior which will complement the treatments. And one of which is the newly published research, as reported by many news outlets already, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Stress, not surprisingly, is bad for cancer survivors including those affected by breast cancer; and exercise can help says the study.

The lead author of the paper, Siobhan Phillips, has told the Healthday, via the website The Sentinel, that moderate to vigorous exercise and other activities benefit women psychology, thus helping their memory. Assistant professor Phillips of the university’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago also has added that post-cancer issues with memory are often linked to chemotherapy–or, radiation treatments–and it is known as “chemo brain.” Her new paper, however, says that the issues may be related to the patient or survivor’s emotions.

Women are frightened, fatigued, stressed and have low self-confidence right after the treatments, she said, and this can lead to perceived memory problems.

For the research, she and her team have examined the self-reported memory and exercise data collected from more than 1,800 survivors of breast cancers; three hundred and sixty-two of whom wore devices called “accelerometers” which allow scientists to track their activities.

Two groups–defined as survivors with moderate or vigorous physical activity–was found to have reduced stress and fatigue. Researchers say this has psychological benefits which could lead to better memory.

Phillips and the team’s research says that moderate and vigorous activities include biking, fast walking, jogging or joining exercise classes.

It is however noted that the study did not set up a direct cause-and-effect relationship. But worth noting is the link of greater levels of physical activity with higher levels of self-confidence and less anxiety. Authors of the study also added that such improvements were also associated with fewer perceived memory problems.

More about Breast Cancer


This year in the United States, about 245,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women, along with about 60,000 of non-invasive breast cancer cases. As for men, Breastcancer.org says about 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year, although a man’s lifetime risk of having breast cancer is only about 1 in 1,000.

To learn more about Breast Cancer incidence in the United States, you can visit Breastcancer.org.





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