Exercise 'can address memory problems in breast cancer survivors'

12 July 2016

A new study has indicated that physical exercise can help to address the memory problems that many breast cancer survivors experience.

The Northwestern Medicine research looked at memory and exercise in breast cancer survivors, including self-reported data for 1,477 women and accelerometer data for a further 362 females.

It was shown that the memory problems associated with breast cancer appear to be related to the high stress load survivors experience, rather than being linked to any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Lead author Siobhan Phillips, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: "These women are frightened, stressed, fatigued, tapped out emotionally and have low self-confidence, which can be very mentally taxing and can lead to perceived memory problems."

As such, greater physical activity was associated with higher levels of self-confidence, lower distress and reduced fatigue, which in turn brought down the women's levels of perceived memory impairment.

This shows the benefits that brisk walking, biking, jogging or exercise classes can have for women affected by these problems.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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