Early detection and improved treatments for breast cancer have resulted in better prognosis for patients. A recent review of research related to physical activity and breast cancer confirmed that exercise decreases risk of recurrence, increases quality of life, bone mineral density and strength and decreases fatigue and pain in breast cancer survivors. The study concluded that based on scientific data, breast cancer patients should be recommended to participate in rehabilitation programs including aerobic and strength training.(1) Many breast cancer survivors, however, are not sure how and when to proceed and ‘how much is enough’ exercise.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has exercise guidelines for cancer survivors.(2) The ACSM concluded that exercise training is safe during and after cancer treatments and results in many benefits for the patient. The amount of exercise recommended is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and 2 to 3 weekly strength training sessions of the major muscle groups. During the development of a physical activity program, it is important to consider pre-diagnosis fitness level, an understanding of the limitations that may be present due to surgical interventions and treatment of the cancer, and other medical conditions. A program should be tailored to a survivor’s needs, abilities, medical condition and interests.
At TurningPoint, the physical therapists will evaluate each patient and their condition and create a program specifically to meet her needs. This can be monitored during treatment at TurningPoint and progressed as the patient regains more strength and flexibility. After discharge, appointments can be made for exercise consultation to review and advance the program as needed. TurningPoint also offers group fitness classes including Yoga and Pilates to help encourage flexibility and strengthening within a safe environment.
- Evigor S, Kanvilmaz S. Exercise in patients coping with breast cancer: An overview. World J Clin Oncol. August 2014, 10;5(3):406-11.
- Schmitz, Kathryn H. et al. American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors. Med Sci Sports Exer. July 2010, 42;7:1409-1426