20 October 2011
Commenting on a study published in The Lancet showing radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery reduces the risk of recurrence and the risk of death from breast cancer, Jacqui Graves, Clinical Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
‘These are encouraging findings for women receiving radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery who may worry about their cancer returning. Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for many cancers.
‘There are also other things that breast cancer patients can do to help reduce their risk of cancer returning. Evidence shows that doing recommended levels of physical activity can reduce breast cancer patients’ risk of recurrence by up to 40%1.
‘Getting active also can help women reduce the impact of side effects of cancer treatment such as lymphoedema, depression and fatigue and can reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
‘We’re urging cancer patients to reap the benefits of physical activity by moving more. We are also calling on the NHS to fund physical activity services for cancer survivors in the same way they do for other long term conditions.
‘Cancer patients don’t have to do anything too strenuous - doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or swimming is enough to make a difference.’
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw – Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
1 Increasing the amount of moderate intensity physical activity up to recommended levels can help reduce breast cancer patients’ risk of dying from the disease and of recurrence by up to 40%, compared to those doing less than an hour a week. Evidence highlighted in Macmillan Cancer Support (2011) report ‘The importance of physical activity for people living with and beyond cancer: A concise evidence review.
The recommended level of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week. See Department of Health (2011) Start Active, Stay Active, A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. Link to guidance below:
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
Call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Calls are free, including from mobiles or visit www.macmillan.org.uk