Multiple Benefits of Exercise for Breast Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

Aerobic exercise training has been shown to have beneficial effects on quality of life in breast cancer survivors. However, the effects of weight training on psychological benefits are unknown. The authors sought to examine the effects of weight training on changes in quality of life and depressive symptoms in recent breast cancer survivors. A convenience sample of 86 survivors (4–36 months post treatment) was randomized into treatment and control groups. The primary outcomes were changes in quality of life (CARES short form) and depressive symptoms (CES-D) between baseline and month 6 in this randomized controlled trial. Over six months, the physical global quality-of-life score improved in the treatment group compared with the control group (standardized difference = 0.62, P = 0.006). The psychosocial global score also improved significantly in the treatment group compared with the control group (standardized difference = 0.52, P = 0.02). There were no changes in CES-D scores. Increases in upper body strength were correlated with improvements in physical global score (r = 0.32; P < 0.01) and psychosocial global score (r = 0.30; P < 0.01). Increases in lean mass were also correlated with improvements in physical global score (r = 0.23; P < 0.05) and psychosocial global score (r = 0.24; P < 0.05). The authors concluded that twice-weekly weight training for recent breast cancer survivors may result in improved quality of life, in part via changes in body composition and strength.

Source:Ohira T, et al. Effects of weight training on quality of life in recent breast cancer survivors: The Weight Training for Breast Cancer Survivors (WTBS) study. Cancer 2006; [Epub ahead of print].

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