Running Reduces Breast Cancer Mortality

02/10/15 By Daryl Lee

Running Reduces Breast Cancer Mortality

Among its other health benefits, physical activity may be linked to significantly reducing breast cancer mortality. 

Studies in the past have reported mixed results on whether or not physical activity effects survival rates in women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  This can be attributed to differences in the type and intensity of the exercises studied.  A new study investigates the effects of running versus walking in women with breast cancer.

The study conducted by Paul T. Williams at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life  Science’s Division, consisted of nearly 1000 individuals recruited from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study.  All participants were required to complete baseline questionnaires on their characteristics and lifestyle including: exercise, weight, diet, tobacco use, reproductive history, food intake, etc. 

The results of the study showed that women who ran or walked were at a lower risk of breast cancer mortality than less active women.  That risk lowered even more significantly in women who ran versus women who walked. 

Walkers stated,

“We see these huge reductions [in breast cancer deaths] in women who run – greater than those who walk.” 

He added that the study did not deny the benefits of walking, and that the link between vigorous exercise and a lower risk of mortality is only an association for now.





Paul T. Williams. Significantly greater reduction in breast cancer mortality from post-diagnosis running than walking. International Journal of Cancer, 2014.