In a nutshell
This study was carried out to examine the impact of physical activity (PA) on the recovery of patients having surgery for breast cancer (BC). The authors found that PA reduces the risk of patients developing chronic pain and women who had higher levels of PA recovered better than sedentary women.
BC is one of the most common forms of cancer experienced by women. Treatment often involves surgery to remove tumors from the breast. Surgery often leads to a reduction in PA levels. Previous studies have shown that PA during BC treatment can have a positive impact on patients in terms of mental health. However, the impact of PA on the recovery of patients after surgery has not yet been examined.
Methods & findings
There were 157 patients who underwent breast surgery in this study. 107 patients were physically active and 50 were sedentary. Patients in the PA group had either light activity (walking, stretching), medium activity (Pilates, Yoga, jogging, aerobics, bicycling), or high PA (high-intensity fitness training, weight lifting, swimming, competitive, sports). Patients were followed up for 6 months after the surgery.
Patients who performed medium and high levels of PA had a lower level of disability when compared with patients who were inactive or had light levels of PA. Patients with higher levels of PA also had better shoulder function compared to patients with low levels of activity.
Patients with high PA levels returned to work earlier than patients with lower levels of PA. Patients with high PA levels did experience a higher rate of development of scarred or connective tissue under the arm following surgery.
The bottom line
The authors found that the higher the level of PA in patients with breast cancer the better the outcome in terms of pain, and recovery after surgery.
The fine print
The follow-up period of the study was short. Longer-term studies are needed.
Talk to your doctor about physical activity and the level that is right for you.
Published By :
May 17, 2021
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