Diet & Exercise / Weight Management
Many women with breast cancer have long, healthy, and active lives after
their treatment. Healthy eating and regular exercise both
after treatment are important. A healthy diet and exercise can help you maintain
a healthy weight and will give you more energy as you recover. Eating
well will also help your body rebuild muscle strength and overcome some
of the side effects of breast cancer treatment.
There is no direct link between any specific food group and breast cancer
risk. Research has shown that getting the nutrients you need from a variety
of foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can make you
feel your best and give your body the energy it needs.
Low-fat diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Sticking to a low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of breast cancer coming
back. More research is needed to know who is most likely to get the biggest
benefit from this dietary change, but no matter what kind of cancer you’ve
had, you may still benefit from lowering the amount of fat in your diet.
Plus, other healthy choices are more likely to come with a low-fat diet,
such as eating more fruits and vegetables. All these changes together
may help lower your risk of recurrence.
Healthy weight reduces risk of breast recurrence.
Maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of breast cancer
coming back. Studies have shown that women who gained weight after their
breast cancer diagnosis had an increased risk of recurrence. Several studies
have found that maintaining a healthy weight is strongly correlated with
a lower risk of a first-time breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
Research on diet and breast cancer is ongoing.
Read specific diet and nutritional guidelines.
We’ve all heard it hundreds of times: exercise is good for us. More
and more research is showing that regular exercise can reduce the risk
of breast cancer recurrence if you’ve been diagnosed, as well as
reduce the risk of developing breast cancer if you’ve never been
diagnosed. Also, the more you exercise, the more your breast cancer risk
may be reduced. Any exercise at a moderate level of activity (including
brisk walking) counts. Exercise is safe during and after all breast cancer
treatments (as long as you take any necessary precautions and keep the
intensity low) and improves physical functioning, quality of life, and
The American Cancer Society currently recommends that women who’ve
been diagnosed with breast cancer exercise at least 30 minutes a day,
5 days a weeks.