women exercising in a park wearing pink

Exercise can reduce pain and fatigue due to breast cancer

Breast cancer is a debilitating disease which affects one in eight women in Australia. Although treatment can extend women’s lives, it can also cause pain and fatigue – factors which affect the quality of life.

Women with advanced breast cancer symptoms suffer from severe pain and fatigue and find it difficult to lead normal lives.

A new study has found that a tailored exercise programme can help women with advanced breast cancer by reducing pain and fatigue.

All women who took part in the exercise programmed indicated that they tolerated aerobic and resistance exercise well.

The study included a group of 15 women aged between 34 and 68 years. They were all treated for metastatic cancer and were not in any exercise program when they joined the study.

Out of this, eight women took part in a 12-week exercise programme which included one hour of exercise twice a week.

In each session, women did a combination of aerobic exercises which was designed to raise their heart rates, weight-bearing exercises and rehabilitation exercises.

The remaining seven women continued to receive normal care.

All women were tested for cardiovascular fitness at the beginning of the 12-week programme and after. Cardiovascular fitness is defined as the amount of oxygen their bodies use during aerobic exercise (VO2max).

The women who took part in the exercise programme showed an increase in VO2max by 12.3 per cent compared to 2.7 per cent average in the control group.

This indicates that the women were becoming better at transporting oxygen around their bodies – their hearts were pumping blood and their muscles were using oxygen more efficiently.

The researchers also looked at a secondary factor for cardiovascular strength called VO2max power. This is the patient’s rate of maximum power during exercise.

They found that women who were participating in the exercise programme improved by 37.2 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent in the control group.
This shows that the exercise group was adapting well to endurance training.

Pain, fatigue and quality of life were measured with the help of a questionnaire.

There was a 21.4 point reduction in pain in women who exercised compared to 2.6 points in women who did not follow the exercise programme.

There was a 14.4 point reduction in fatigue in the exercise group compared to 2.2 points in the control group.

For emotional wellbeing there was a 16.6 point improvement compared to 11.o points and for women to have the ability to carry out their daily tasks there was an improvement of 14.9 points, compared to 0.1 points in the control group.

All women who took part in the exercise programme indicated that they tolerated aerobic and resistance exercise well.

For these women who suffer from pain and fatigue, starting an exercise programme can be difficult without direction and support and by providing that women can benefit immensely.

The study shows that exercise is beneficial for women with breast cancer and it helps them lead a better quality of life, placing an emphasis on health professionals to increase their awareness of the therapeutic value of exercise and to include it in the care of women with breast cancer.

Source: Advanced Breast Cancer Fourth International Consensus Conference

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

You May Also Like

tennis flow

Plyometric tennis flow

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 01t104739.731

Running Drills

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 01 24t114247.765

Rest, roll and recover

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2023 10 04t100330.827

Unlock the Power of Your Gluteal Muscles