The study has found a potential solution to the psychological stress and memory loss suffered by women surviving breast cancer treatment.
The stress that comes with going through breast cancer can be extremely high resulting in post-cancer memory problems but researchers have found an effective way to combat this.
Taking up moderate to vigorous physical activity is found to increase psychological well-being amongst women recovering from breast cancer and in turn, improves memory loss.
Memory loss issues after cancer is thought to be down to chemotherapy and radiation treatments however the new study suggests emotional stress could also be a contributor making exercise a natural and effective answer.
“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,” states the study’s lead author, Siobhan Phillips, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, Chicago where the research was carried out.
The researcher used data from 1800 women who were surviving breast cancer with 362 of them wearing devices to track daily movements. The results found those women participating in vigorous exercise such as jogging, brisk walking, cycling or exercise classes had a significant reduction in stress and fatigue.
The psychological affects of high exercise are also linked with improving self-confidence and fewer occurrences of memory issues.
“Exercise may provide a way to cope with some of the stress experienced during and following a cancer diagnosis and may help women to feel more confident that they can cope with the cancer experience,” states Phillips.
The research was published in the journal Psycho-Oncology.