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11-23-10

Exercise and Cancer Survivors

The effect of exercise in breast cancer survivors is being studied at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine as part of a nationally funded project.

Individuals who are undergoing or have completed treatment for breast cancer may wonder whether it is safe to start an exercise program.  Physical exercise is not only safe for breast cancer patients, but moderate activity on a regular basis offers a number of benefits, says Dr. Laura Rogers, associate professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

SOUND BITE:  TR 2 (2:48 – 3:12)  “Exercise increases your fitness level which increases your ability to function and do your activities of daily living.  It improves your endurance and it reduces your body fat.  If you’re doing enough exercise and you are following a low calorie diet at the same time, it can help you lose weight.”

Dr. Rogers says exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and other health problems.  She recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days per week.  Walking is the most common exercise, but other physical activities that patients enjoy also can be beneficial.  She is studying the effects of exercise in breast cancer survivors in two research projects funded by the National Cancer Institute.  Dr. Rogers describes her two research projects.

SOUND BITE:  “One is called the BEAT cancer study and the other is called the ABLE study.  Both of these studies include an exercise intervention involving one-on-one sessions with an exercise specialist.  We have exercise specialists who are certified by the American College of Sports Medicine to work specifically with cancer patients.”  

Breast cancer survivors who might be interested in participating in either study in Springfield can call 217-545-7750 weekdays.  For more advise about the benefits of exercise, talk to your personal physician.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.