Many breast cancer patients are likely to suffer from depression, but exercising and drinking green tea just might help.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine, breast cancer patients who drink green tea and exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from depression than other patients.
The study examined more than 1,300 women enrolled in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study in China. Researchers interviewed the women about their diet and exercise habits six months after they were diagnosed with breast cancer. 18 months after their diagnosis, the women were interviewed again and also reported on their depressive symptoms. Twenty-six percent of the women reported depression at that time. Depression can affect compliance with cancer therapy as well as reduce a patient’s quality of life and increase the length of hospital stays.
Researchers found that all types of exercise decreased the risk for clinical depression, and that women who exercised for two or more hours a week and those who expended more energy during exercise were less likely to be depressed than women who didn’t exercise at all. In addition, tea consumption after diagnosis was inversely associated with the risk for mild depression.
This study is ongoing, so investigators will be able to assess the long-term effects of tea consumption and exercises on depression among breast cancer survivors.