Time spent watching television is not associated with death among breast cancer survivors

January 31, 2013

Spending a lot of time watching television after breast cancer diagnosis is not linked to death in these breast cancer survivors. It appears that after accounting for self-reported physical activity levels after diagnosis, sedentary behavior was not an independent risk factor for death. These findings by Stephanie George, from the National Cancer Institute, and her colleagues, are published online in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

On the one hand, research indicates that taking part in regular, moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity after a breast cancer diagnosis may reduce the risk of death. On the other hand, it has been suggested that sedentary time may have . George and team's study is one of the first to evaluate the link between sedentary time and death among cancer survivors, in order to help inform lifestyle recommendations for this expanding and aging population.

Two and a half years after diagnosis, 687 women diagnosed with , who took part in the Health, Eating and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study, were asked about the amount of time they spent sitting watching television, and the type, duration and frequency of activities they performed in the past year. They were then followed up for a further seven years, during which time the researchers recorded 89 deaths.

Overall, women who watched the most television were older, more overweight and less active than those who watched the least. More deaths were observed for those who watched the most vs. the least television. However, once self-reported physical activity levels were taken into account along with other important risk factors, the relationship authors observed between television watching and death was weakened and no longer significant.

Dr. George concludes: "It is possible that there is no true independent relationship between post-diagnosis television time and death. HEAL survivors who reported the most television time also reported the equivalent of 140 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity - which is the amount recommended to all adults for general health. Perhaps with this amount of recreational activity, television time may not have an independent effect on survival."

Explore further: Physical activity cuts mortality in colorectal cancer survivors

More information: George S et al (2013). The association between television watching time and all-cause mortality after breast cancer. Journal of Cancer Survivorship; DOI:10.1007/s11764-013-0265-y

Related Stories

Physical activity cuts mortality in colorectal cancer survivors

January 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—For patients with invasive, non-metastatic colorectal cancer, increased recreational physical activity is associated with reduced all-cause mortality, while prolonged sedentary time correlates with increased ...

Letting go can boost quality of life

April 23, 2012
Most people go through life setting goals for themselves. But what happens when a life-altering experience makes those goals become unachievable or even unhealthy?

Breast cancer and smoking: It's always a good time to stop

May 31, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- The number of people within our community who have survived cancer is increasing. But a recent Victorian study has shown that not all survivors are embracing good health.

Recommended for you

Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium

July 27, 2017
Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes. They found that Fusobacterium nucleatum in the gut can stop chemotherapy ...

Researchers release first draft of a genome-wide cancer 'dependency map'

July 27, 2017
In one of the largest efforts to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified more than 760 genes ...

Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer

July 27, 2017
Cells, just like people, have memories. They retain molecular markers that at the beginning of their existence helped guide their development. Cells that become cancerous may be making use of these early memories to power ...

Blocking the back-door that cancer cells use to escape death by radiotherapy

July 27, 2017
A natural healing mechanism of the body may be reducing the efficiency of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, according to a new study.

Manmade peptides reduce breast cancer's spread

July 27, 2017
Manmade peptides that directly disrupt the inner workings of a gene known to support cancer's spread significantly reduce metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists say.

Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells

July 27, 2017
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) - through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.