Exercising more after being diagnosed with breast cancer could lower your risk of dying, a study suggests.
Women who bumped up their activity to 150 minutes per week, the recommended amount, halved their risk of death.
Those who continued to meet the guidelines for moderate exercise, which includes cycling or brisk walks, had a 30 per cent lower risk.
Doctors are now urging patients keep active post-diagnosis, in order to give them the best chance of surviving the killer disease.
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg tracked more than 2,000 older women for a decade.
The study is understood to be one of the first to investigate if exercise is beneficial for breast cancer patients.
Exercising more after being diagnosed with breast cancer could lower your risk of dying, a study in Germany suggests (stock)
It is well known that the fitter women are, the less likely they are to die if they get cancer.
But less research has been done on the effects of getting physically fitter after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The new findings, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, bolster the evidence.
Participants were aged 50 to 74. By the end of the study, there were 206 deaths, of which 114 were caused by breast cancer.
Results suggested women who increased their activity level after a diagnosis - rather than keeping it the same - cut their risk of death the most.
And women who didn't exercise before or after their diagnosis did not see their risk of death reduced, the team revealed.
Compared to them, women who started exercising after their diagnosis reduced their risk of dying from breast cancer by 46 per cent.
Women who were active pre- and post-diagnosis cut their odds of dying from breast cancer by 39 per cent.
Early evidence suggest an exercise programme before treatment helps patients tolerate difficult treatments and experience fewer complications.
There is stronger evidence demonstrating that exercising while undergoing cancer treatment limits the dreaded side effects such as fatigue.
Studies indicates that after completion of treatment, undertaking an exercise programme leads to increased cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, reduced fatigue, and improved body composition and wellbeing outcomes.
For patients under palliative care, preliminary evidence suggests that exercise is feasible,