Could regular exercise help women battling advanced breast cancer?

January 11, 2017 by Rob Kidd
Could regular exercise help women battling advanced breast cancer?
QUT researchers are looking for women with breast cancer to take part in an exercise study. Credit: Queensland University of Technology

QUT researchers are looking for Brisbane women who have been diagnosed with stage 2 (or above) breast cancer to take part in a study into the safety, feasibility and benefits of a regular exercise program.

Participants will receive home visits from physiologists who will create a 12-week tailored exercise program for them and offer ongoing support.

Lead researcher Professor Sandi Hayes from QUT's Faculty of Health said women who were currently undergoing treatment were encouraged to take part, as were those who have had treatment in the past five years.

"Please don't assume anyone is 'too unwell' to take part," she said.

"Our experienced exercise physiologists are specifically trained to help people with medical conditions exercise despite complex barriers."

Professor Hayes said researchers already knew that exercise during treatment or following early stage breast cancer diagnosis was associated with improved quality of life. It's also looking promising that exercise will influence survival post-breast cancer.

"This new study is looking at the 50 per cent of women who are diagnosed with stage 2+ breast cancer and who currently do less than 150 minutes of exercise a week," Professor Hayes said.

She said 10 women had already completed the program and experienced benefits.

"We've noticed improvements in overall fitness, muscle strength, muscle mass and quality of life," she said.

The research team is looking for another 60 women to join the study, who are aged 18 years and older and live within 60km of the Brisbane CBD.

PhD researcher Ben Singh is one of the exercise physiologists visiting participants in their homes.

"The women who've taken part have really enjoyed it and have been surprised about how capable they are of doing regular exercise and how much benefit they are getting from participating," he said.

"We've had a few women with metastatic take part who are having on-going treatment. Despite the side effects they are experiencing, they too have also been able to safely participate and experience significant physical and emotional benefits.

"We do make sure we individualise the program. They don't have to join a gym … instead we focus on regular walking and doing home-based resistance exercises with hand weights and resistance bands."

The SAFE study is part of QUT's Improving Health Outcomes for People (IHOP) program, which is run by the university's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and Faculty of Health.

If it finds that exercise is safe and beneficial for the target group, a larger study will be offered to more .

Explore further: Telerehabilitation through internet improve life of women suffering breast cancer

More information: Women interested in taking part in the current QUT study can email safe@qut.edu.au or phone 07 3138 3016.

Related Stories

Telerehabilitation through internet improve life of women suffering breast cancer

January 11, 2017
Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) and from hospitals Virgen de las Nieves and San Cecilio (Granada) have proved that telerehabilitation may help to alleviate the side effects associated with breast cancer and ...

Exercise no aid to functioning with advanced breast cancer

February 22, 2016
(HealthDay)—Exercise does not appear to result in significant improvements in physical functioning in women living with advanced breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Cancer.

Cancer patients benefit from exercise during, after treatment

November 16, 2016
(HealthDay)—Exercising during and after cancer treatment is safe and improves quality of life, fitness, and physical functioning, according to research presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research's Research ...

Telerehabilitation through Internet ameliorate the life of women suffering breast cancer

October 27, 2016
Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) and from hospitals Virgen de las Nieves and San Cecilio (Granada) have proven that "telerehabilitation" (rehabilitation with the help of the internet using the application ...

Is 12 minutes of exercise all that is needed to fight diabetes?

December 7, 2016
A University of Queensland researcher is trialling a 12-minute exercise plan that aims to fight type 2 diabetes in a flash.

Exercise associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in African American women

August 13, 2014
Regular exercise, including brisk walking, is associated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in African American women. In a recently published study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers ...

Recommended for you

Stem cell therapy attacks cancer by targeting unique tissue stiffness

July 26, 2017
A stem cell-based method created by University of California, Irvine scientists can selectively target and kill cancerous tissue while preventing some of the toxic side effects of chemotherapy by treating the disease in a ...

Understanding cell segregation mechanisms that help prevent cancer spread

July 26, 2017
Scientists have uncovered how cells are kept in the right place as the body develops, which may shed light on what causes invasive cancer cells to migrate.

Study uncovers potential 'silver bullet' for preventing and treating colon cancer

July 26, 2017
In preclinical experiments, researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have uncovered a new way in which colon cancer develops, as well as a potential "silver bullet" for preventing and treating it. The findings may extend to ...

Compound shows promise in treating melanoma

July 26, 2017
While past attempts to treat melanoma failed to meet expectations, an international team of researchers are hopeful that a compound they tested on both mice and on human cells in a petri dish takes a positive step toward ...

Study may explain failure of retinoic acid trials against breast cancer

July 25, 2017
Estrogen-positive breast cancers are often treated with anti-estrogen therapies. But about half of these cancers contain a subpopulation of cells marked by the protein cytokeratin 5 (CK5), which resists treatment—and breast ...

Breaking the genetic resistance of lung cancer and melanoma

July 25, 2017
Researchers from Monash University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, New York) have discovered why some cancers – particularly lung cancer and melanoma – are able to quickly develop deadly resistance ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.