Programme Activ' à l'Institut Curie

Taking up exercise after breast cancer

Mathilde Regnault
04/02/2017
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Many scientific studies have proven that physical activity reduces the risk of one day developing breast cancer. It also reduces the risk of recurrence after cancer.

The most active women have a 20% lower risk of developing breast cancer than less active women.  Similarly, exercising for at least three hours weekly after breast cancer reduces the risk of recurrence by 20%. This percentage climbs to 50% for those who get more than nine hours of exercise per week!*

Furthermore, physical activity helps to combat the side effects of treatment.

  • Patients who have been treated for breast cancer often feel extreme fatigue, even several months after treatment ends. Unlike typical fatigue, physical activity helps to restore energy and eliminate fatigue.
  • When a patient has undergone axillary dissection (removal of the lymph nodes closest to the tumor), she is at risk of lymphedema, the swelling of the arm due to build-up of lymph, which is not circulating as freely. This phenomenon is painful, debilitating and unsightly. Physical activity reduces the risk of developing lymphedema.

Since 2012, in partnership with AG2R La Mondiale, Institut Curie has been offering participation in Programme Activ’ to patients treated for breast cancer. The purpose of this program is to help patients resume appropriate physical activity through a personalized program. Since 2013, Programme Activ’ has also offered nutrition assistance, with nutritional workshops and a motivational support program.