Washington: Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer should exercise and stick to a diet, as shedding kilos is the best way to fight the disease, researchers say.
Scientists found that a daily brisk walk of 25 minutes almost halved the mortality among breast cancer patients while a waistline larger than 35 inches rose death rates by a third.
Results of trials showed "powerful" and "groundbreaking" evidence of the benefits of a slim waistline, with weightloss and exercise helping even those with advanced cancer, the Telegraph reported.
According to experts, losing five percent of body weight may lead to a 20 percent increase in breast cancer survival.
"After treatment, weight loss is the most powerful thing you can do. It is the next best pill to treatment and it is free and has no side effects," said Melinda Irwin from Yale University in the US.
"Every woman diagnosed with breast cancer should be counselled about weight loss and weight management, and about the role of exercise," said Irwin.
"Diagnosis offers a window of opportunity, and diet and exercise can have a profound and powerful effect," she added.
Researchers tracked almost 5,000 breast cancer sufferers and found that three hours brisk walking a week was associated with a 46 per cent fall in death rates.
Even when women took up such practices after decades of an inactive life, mortality fell by as much as 33 percent, researchers said.