In a nutshell
This study looked at analysing data from a number of other studies assessing the effects exercise has on quality of life of patients with breast cancer.
The authors found that across all studies and all different kinds of exercise, quality of life was improved with exercise.
There have been several studies published that show that exercise after chemotherapy improves the health status and quality of life of patients with breast cancer. This study pulled together data from the most recent smaller studies in this area to give a strongly significant result.
Methods & findings
This study was an analysis of 36 smaller studies, with a total of 3914 patients. The patients were all over 18 years old, and had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Each study prescribed some form of exercise as the intervention. In each study, the control group (used for comparison) did not undergo any exercise intervention. In 25 of these studies, aerobic exercise was prescribed, such as walking, yoga, or dancing. In 8 of these studies, resistance exercise was prescribed, such as free weights or resistance training machines. There were three studies that looked at combining these two types of exercise.
Many of the studies used different tools to determine the quality of life of the patients after the intervention. The results were compared to the control group who did not undertake any exercise programme.
In analysing all of the smaller studies, the authors concluded that exercise was beneficial in improving the quality of life of patients with breast cancer. Specifically, combined aerobic and resistance training seemed to be the most beneficial. They found this intervention to be safe and effective.
The bottom line
The study concluded that exercise was beneficial to improve the quality of life for patients with breast cancer.
The fine print
Some studies did not report if there were any side effects seen, such as injury. This may influence the quality of life results. Some of the studies did not monitor the exercise programmes, so patient reported data about exercise may have been unreliable.This was a very large study so it is likely the results are significant.
Discuss with your doctor if an exercise programme is right for you at this point in your treatment.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Jul 21, 2018
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