Exercise May Reduce Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
New research reveals that an exercise regimen, even if it isn’t as strenuous as national recommendations recommend, might help breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy minimise tiredness and improve their quality of life.
This study comprised 89 women from Edith Cowan University in Australia; 43 participated in the exercise segment, whereas the control group did not.
The exercisers followed a 12-week home-based programme. It includes weight training sessions once a week and 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic activity.
When compared to the control group, patients who exercised recovered from cancer-related tiredness faster during and after radiation therapy. Exercisers also experienced a rise in health-related quality of life, which might encompass emotional, physical, and social well-being.
“”The amount of activity was gradually raised, with the ultimate objective of individuals matching the national guideline for recommended exercise levels,” noted study leader Georgios Mavropalias, a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Medical and Health Sciences.
The exercise programmes, however, were tailored to the participants’ fitness levels, and “we discovered that even much lower doses of exercise than those recommended in the [Australian] national guidelines can have significant effects on cancer-related fatigue and health-related quality of life during and after radiotherapy,” Mavropalias said in a university news release.
The Australian National Cancer Guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate level aerobic activity five days a week or 20 minutes of intense aerobic exercise three days a week for cancer patients. This is in addition to two to three days of strength training each week.
According to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organisation, one in every eight women and one in every 833 males will be diagnosed with breast cancer throughout their lifetime.
According to research supervisor professor Rob Newton, an exercise medicine professor, a home-based exercise regimen during radiation therapy is safe, practical, and beneficial.
“A home-based approach may be desirable for patients since it is low-cost, does not need travel or in-person monitoring, and can be administered at the patient’s convenience,” he stated in the statement. “These advantages may bring significant comfort to patients.”
Participants in the study who began an exercise regimen were more likely to remain with it. Up to a year after the treatment concluded, they reported substantial improvements in mild, moderate, and strenuous physical activity.
“”The exercise routine in this study appears to have resulted in changes in the individuals’ physical activity behaviour,” said Mavropalias.