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Positive Impact Of Exercise On Breast Cancer Treatment

Positive Impact Of Exercise On Breast Cancer Treatment

Physical activity allows one to lead a healthy lifestyle. For cancer patients, the impact of exercise on treatment side effects and recurrence risk is invaluable. Research has shown that regular physical activity has a Positive Impact Of Breast Cancer Exercise. Exercise with its ability to control hormone levels in the body is effective in lowering the risk of estrogen-positive Breast Cancer.

Aside from prevention, physical activity helps curb cancer treatment, and side effects like Fatigue in Breast Cancer patients. However, above all the physiological benefits comes the sense of control that patients regain when they start exercising. Unlike the common misconceptions, you do not need a gym membership or fancy equipment to be active. You can remain physically active through the simplest of everyday activities like light walking and jogging.

Let's understand the study of Hartman, who tested the effectiveness of a 3-month social cognitive theory, based on sedentary women with a family history of Breast Cancer. The curriculum was adapted from a physical activity intervention and included an internet-based program with a brief telephone consultation for the environment and a discussion of customized goals. Participants with Breast Cancer symptoms were encouraged to work most days of the week with up to 45 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity. Participants (n=56) had an average age of 42.6 years.

Positive Impact Of Exercise On Breast Cancer Treatment

Also Read: Treatments For Breast Cancer

Differences were maintained at 5 months, and 2 months after termination of the intervention. Hartman suggested that the benefit of physical fitness after the intervention was a result of improving self-efficacy. During the research, the woman led a more active lifestyle and had a lower chance of showcasing Breast Cancer symptoms.

Role of Exercise When Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Various studies have investigated the role of exercise after Breast Cancer symptoms are diagnosed, showing improvement in perioperative outcomes, side effects of treatment, quality of life, and overall survival.

A survey found that women who were more involved in regular Breast Cancer exercise had an 85 per cent increased chance of feeling healed after undergoing Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy.

In 2016, a Cochrane Review was conducted to assess the effect of aerobic or resistance interventions on the side effects of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. The review concluded that physical exercise during adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer increases physical fitness and decreases Fatigue.

A second 2017 Cochrane Review focused on the role of Yoga in improving quality of life, and mental health, and highlighted the cancer symptoms in women with a Breast Cancer diagnosis, which included a total of 2166 participants in 24 randomized controlled trials. Research of moderate quality endorsed Yoga as an effective measure in improving quality of life, decreasing exhaustion, and reducing Sleep Disturbances.

Another side effect of Breast Cancer that can be treated by exercising is lymphedema. Breast cancer-related lymphedema is an accumulation of fluid in the interstitial tissues of the arm, head, neck, or torso. It is caused by lymph node damage during Breast Cancer Treatment which involves Radiotherapy and axillary node dissection.

Regular exercising after Breast Cancer treatment

Exercises help to reduce the side effects of Cancer Treatment and help you get back to your usual activities. After going through Radiotherapy for breast cancer, it is essential to develop a regular habit of doing exercises to preserve arm and shoulder mobility.

Three Common Breast Cancer Exercises You Can Perform:

1. Wand Exercise

This exercise helps to boost your ability to move your shoulders forward. In this exercise, you'll need a broom handle, yardstick, or another stick-like item to use as the wand. You can do this exercise in a bed or on the floor.

  • Hold the wand in both hands over the chest, with the palms facing up.
  • Lift the wand over your head to the extent possible.
  • Use your uninfected arm to raise the wand until you feel your affected arm stretch.
  • Hold on for five seconds.
  • Arms down and repeat 5 to 7 times.

2. Elbow Winging

This exercise helps to increase your chest and shoulder frontal movement. It may take several weeks before your elbows get near the bed or floor.

  • With your elbows pointing to the ceiling, clasp your hands behind your neck
  • Move your elbows to the bed or floor, apart and down.
  • Replay 5-7 times.

3. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

This exercise also helps to increase the movement of shoulder blades and to improve posture.

  • Sit in a chair facing the mirror.
  • Blend your elbows.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and bring the elbows to your back behind you. Elbows move with you but don't use your elbows to push the motion. Keep level with your shoulders, as you do. Don't raise your shoulders to your ears.
  • Go back to the starting position and repeat 5 to 7 times.

Exercise is essential to boost aerobic (heart-lung) capacity for women who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer symptoms. Exercise also lowers the risk of returning to different types of cancer.

When exercising after breast cancer treatment, it's important to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Consult with your healthcare team: Before starting any exercise program, consult with your healthcare team, including your oncologist and a qualified exercise specialist or physical therapist. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific condition, treatment history, and overall health.
  2. Start gradually: Begin with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Your body may have undergone significant changes during treatment, so it's important to listen to your body and avoid overexertion.
  3. Focus on overall fitness: Incorporate a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises to improve overall fitness. Cardiovascular exercises can include brisk walking, swimming, or cycling, while strength training can involve using light weights or resistance bands. Flexibility exercises like stretching or yoga can help maintain range of motion and reduce muscle tightness.
  4. Pay attention to lymphedema: If you have undergone lymph node removal or radiation therapy, be cautious about activities that may increase the risk of lymphedema, such as heavy lifting or repetitive arm movements. Gradually increase the intensity of upper body exercises and monitor for any swelling, discomfort, or changes in sensation. Wearing a compression sleeve or glove, if recommended by your healthcare team, may help manage lymphedema risk.
  5. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience pain, discomfort, or unusual symptoms, stop exercising and consult with your healthcare team. It's important to strike a balance between challenging yourself and avoiding overexertion.
  6. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle yoga. These practices can help manage emotional well-being during the recovery period.
  7. Maintain proper nutrition and hydration: Ensure you are consuming a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrients and stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Proper nutrition can support your energy levels, muscle recovery, and overall health.

Positive Impact Of Exercise On Breast Cancer Treatment

Also Read: How To Manage A Breast Cancer Journey

Remember, every individual's experience with breast cancer treatment is unique, so it's important to tailor your exercise routine to your specific needs. Always follow the recommendations of your healthcare team and seek their guidance throughout your recovery journey.

Elevate Wellness & Recovery in Cancer

For personalized guidance on cancer treatments and complementary therapies, consult our experts at ZenOnco.io or call +91 9930709000

Reference:

  1. McNeely ML, Campbell KL, Rowe BH, Klassen TP, Mackey JR, Courneya KS. Effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ. 2006 Jul 4;175(1):34-41. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051073. PMID: 16818906; PMCID: PMC1482759.
     
  2. Joaquim A, Leão I, Antunes P, Capela A, Viamonte S, Alves AJ, Helguero LA, Macedo A. Impact of physical exercise programs in breast cancer survivors on health-related quality of life, physical fitness, and body composition: Evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Front Oncol. 2022 Dec 9;12:955505. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.955505. PMID: 36568235; PMCID: PMC9782413.
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