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Breast Cancer

Exercise and spread of invasive ductal cancer



I had a lumpectomy and 13 lymph nodes removed 3 weeks ago due to invasive ductal carcinoma in right breast. I don`t start radiation for another 3-4 weeks. I was told that radiation will catch "loose" cancer cells that may have remained in my breast after surgery. Now, since surgery I am afraid to exercise, etc. because I fear these "loose" cells may spread via increased circulation/metabolism caused by the workouts. Is there any validity to this concern? Any research? Thank you.


Exercise will not spread cancer cells and is actually good for you! The confusion stems from how this was described, as "loose" cells. The cells are not actually "loose" but are sometimes in the tissue in the area of the original cancer and the radiation can help prevent recurrences in the breast that may occur months or years after surgery.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University