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The Effects of Low to Moderate Intensity Exercise on Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Following Clinical Treatment

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Purpose of this study was to test the effect of low to moderate intensity exercise on fatigue and physical functioning in women who have completed treatment for breast cancer. Sample Twenty-two women, ages 43-79, who had completed treatment for breast cancer, were randomly assigned to an exercise n 12 or control group n 10. The exercise group participated in a low-moderate intensity 30-50 heart rate reserve aerobic exercise program 3 times a week for ten weeks. The control group did not participate in the exercise program. Physical functioning was measured by assessing peak aerobic capacity with a treadmill protocol. Both groups recorded their weekly level of fatigue using a Linear Analogue Self-Assessment Scale LASA and the Schwartz Cancer Fatigue Scale SCFS. Results Peak aerobic capacity increased significantly 25, p .005 in the exercise group. The control group showed a decrease of 5.2. Fatigue reported with the Schwartz scale decreased in the exercise group and increased in the control group. This change was statistically significant between the groups p .0003 and within the groups p . 01. Fatigue reported with the LASA scale decreased in the exercise group and increased in the control group but the differences were not statistically significant between p . 17 or within p .10 the groups. Discussion This aerobic exercise program was effective in improving peak aerobic capacity and reducing fatigue SCFS in this group of breast cancer survivors. Guidelines for an exercise intervention are already in place for chronic diseases diabetes, heart disease, but no guidelines are in place for cancer patients and survivors. Lower intensity aerobic exercise should be considered for this population. Low to moderate intensity exercise is a safe, beneficial, efficient, and cost-effective tool for improving fatigue in breast cancer survivors.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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