April 16, 2012

Exercise Improves Breast Cancer Patients’ Lives

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Now women suffering from breast cancer have a way to improve their overall quality of life.

Researchers show that exercise during cancer treatment helps reduce depression and severe fatigue in women.

"Women who are physically active may also have more confidence in their own ability to continue with family-related, household, work-related, or social activities, which bring meaning and satisfaction to their lives," Jamie M. Stagl, M.S., doctoral student in Clinical Health Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at UM and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying.

"This may lead to appraisals of lower fatigue, heightened quality of life, and less depression."

A team from the University of Miami conducted a study consisting of 240 women recently diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer and recruited from four to 10 weeks post-surgery. Participants attended a 10-week, group-based Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management (CBSM) intervention, or a one-day psychoeducation "self-help" comparison group. In addition, researchers monitored the women's reported physical activity levels.

While these researchers have previously shown that stress management improves breast cancer treatment, the current study reveals that there are additional benefits for women who are also physically active throughout treatment.

"Women who increased the amount of time they spent being physically active between the weeks after surgery and their adjuvant therapy had less 'fatigue disruption' -- their fatigue did not disrupt their ability to perform everyday activities," Stagl was quoted as saying. "They also showed a decrease in depressed mood and an increase in quality of life."

SOURCE: University of Miami, April 13, 2012