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Exercise after breast cancer treatment: current perspectives

Authors Dieli-Conwright C, Orozco B

Received 5 August 2015

Accepted for publication 10 September 2015

Published 21 October 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 353—362

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BCTT.S82039

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Tuhin Das

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar


Christina M Dieli-Conwright, Breanna Z Orozco

Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Women's Health and Exercise Laboratory, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: Over the past 2 decades, great strides have been made in the field of exercise-oncology research, particularly with breast cancer. This area of research is particularly important since there are >2.8 million breast cancer survivors who are in need of an intervention that can offset treatment-related side effects. Noticeable reductions in physical fitness (ie, cardiopulmonary fitness and muscular strength), negative changes in body composition (ie, increase in body mass, decrease in lean body mass, and increase in fat mass), increased fatigue, depression, or anxiety are some of the common side effects of cancer treatments that negatively impact overall quality of life and increase the risk for the development of comorbidities. Exercise plays a vital role in improving cardiopulmonary function, psychological events, muscular strength, and endurance in breast cancer survivors, and thus should be considered as a key factor of lifestyle intervention to reverse negative treatment-related side effects. The purpose of this review is to address current perspectives on the benefits of aerobic and resistance exercise after breast cancer treatments. This review is focused on the well-established benefits of exercise on physical and emotional well-being, bone health, lymphedema management, and the postulated benefits of exercise on risk reduction for recurrence of breast cancer.

Keywords: breast cancer, exercise, physical well-being

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