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The Effect of a Home-Based Walking Intervention on Quality of Life, Body Composition, and Estrogen Metabolism in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Survivors

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Final rept. 1 Sep 2001-31 Aug 2005

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Increased incidence of, and survival from, breast cancer have resulted in an increase in the number of women who have survived this disease and are faced with the subsequent consequences of their diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer are associated with several adverse physical and psychosocial outcomes e.g., weight gain, reduced physical activity levels, loss of lean body mass, depression, lowered self-esteem. Some of these adverse effects are attenuated after adjuvant treatment ends. However, psychological distress and weight gain may persist, resulting in reduced quality of life and increased risk of recurrence. Physical activity participation may attenuate these adverse effects and improve hormonal factors that influence breast cancer recurrence. Given these benefits, it is remarkable that physical activity programs have not been adapted for breast cancer survivors until very recently. However, for physical activity to be seen as a viable treatment option, and for a change in routine care to occur, its effectiveness must be determined. Accordingly, the objectives of this pilot study are as follows 1 quantify the effect of a 12-week, home-based walking intervention on quality of life, body composition, and estrogen metabolism in survivors of breast cancer and 2 develop and test the feasibility of physical activity intervention materials for future studies in this population. The recruitment of participants began in April 2005 due to challenges in institutional agreements regarding coverage of potential medical expenses incurred by women as a consequence of their participation in this research. Since the resolution of this issue, the authors have recruited 12 women into the study, and their recruitment efforts are ongoing. Due to the small numbers and ongoing recruitment, analyses have not yet been initiated. They have requested a 1-year extension of the project.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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