A new study published in the International Journal of Cancer concluded that exceeding the recommendations for walking )(2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week) for breast cancer survivors may provide greater probability of survival and that running may be better than walking.
In the study 986 breast cancer survivors were followed and walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died of breast cancer over 9 years. 33 of the 714 analyzing the two groups together a risk of breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24% per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hours equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about two-thirds of a mile of running.
Looking at the runners and walkers separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than those who walked. The runners risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40% per MET hour per day and those that averaged over 2 and a quarter miles per day were about 95% lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the recommended amount of exercise. In contract, the walkers risk for breast cancer mortality decreased 5% per MET hour per day that was not significant.
Researchers cautioned that the numbers of subjects in the study were small so results should be viewed cautiously but do believe exceeding the recommendations for exercise do reduce risk of breast cancer mortality and than running may be better than walking. He said, ”If I were a breast cancer survivor, I would certainly consider running or some other vigorous exercise over walking and I wouldn’t just be doing the minimum, with the consequences and potential benefit being so great.”