Low muscle mass in women diagnosed with breast cancer linked to impaired survival

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(Natural News) Of the different types of cancer, breast cancer is among those with higher chances of survival, especially with early detection and diagnosis. However, one study discovered additional factors that may increase the risk of death for women suffering from this condition.

Sarcopenia, a condition wherein a person has low skeletal muscle mass, was found to have an impact on the survival rate of breast cancer patients. It appeared that it increases the possibility of death – by breast cancer or any other cause – by 40 percent in comparison to women who have higher levels of muscle mass.

The study involved 3,241 women diagnosed with either stage 2 or stage 3 breast cancer at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California or the Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteThey were patients accepted in either of the healthcare facilities between January 2000 and December 2013 and were 18-80 years old. The follow-up time for the study was about six years.

Aside from low muscle mass, researchers also looked into the possible link between low muscle quality and excess fat, and the survival rate of breast cancer patients. According to CT scan results, 1,086 of the participants (34 percent) had low muscle mass, and 1,199 of them (37 percent) had low muscle quality.

While low muscle mass significantly affects the survival rate of the patients, low muscle quality was found to have no association with breast cancer outcomes. (Read: Reduce your risk of breast cancer by 21% by simply eating one more serving of veggies a day.)

Excess fat also showed adverse effects on a patient’s chances of survival. Those who had the highest amounts of fatty tissue appeared to be at greater risk of dying from breast cancer or any other cause than those with lower levels of fatty tissue.


The worst cases, according to the study, are those who had both low muscle mass and high levels of fatty tissue. They have the highest risk of dying from any cause.

The study’s lead researcher, Bette Caan, said, “I was surprised by how high the prevalence of sarcopenia was in breast cancer patients with nonmetastatic disease, who in general have good survival. It is well known that patients with advanced cancer have muscle loss, but that sarcopenia can occur in so many patients earlier in the cancer process is not well appreciated.”

In essence, the findings highlight the importance of keeping the body healthy; regular exercise for one not only burns fat but it helps build muscles as well.

Surefire ways to gain muscle mass and reduce excess fats

Building your muscle may not be easy, but it’s not impossible. With the right mindset, proper workout routine, and healthy meals, you are on your way to effectively reducing your risk of developing any illnesses.

Here are some tips for muscle-building:

  • Get stronger by lifting weights. This will help increase muscle mass. The stronger you become, the more muscle mass you build.
  • As you progress, add more weight to the bar to further develop your strength and increase your overall muscle mass.
  • Do combination exercises that target multiple muscle groups at the same time.
  • Make use of barbells. Barbells involve more muscles and trigger more muscle development. Use free weights that are not attached to any equipment. Start light and use proper form to avoid injury.
  • Increase the number of times you exercise and lift weights. However, it’s equally important to give your body time to rest and recover from all the heavy workout.
  • Eat a lot of food that will help you bulk up. Dieting or depriving your body of food will not help you gain muscle mass since there is nothing to build. Food also helps with recovery of damaged muscle tissue due to exercise. Add more carbohydrates and protein to your daily diet.
  • Set realistic goals and be patient enough until you reach them. Growing muscles takes time.
  • As with everything else in life, consistency is the key to success.

Regular exercise can do wonders for your overall health. Learn more about its benefits at Slender.news

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