Declines in functional ability, muscle strength, and increases in body weight are commonly observed in patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. The combination of chemotherapy with either doxorubicin or methotrexate. and steroids in an antiemetic regimen increase the potential for signficant physical debilitation, and predispose patients to osteoporosis. Exercise may be an intervention to minimize these negative effects and reduce the risk for long term treatment-related complications, such as osteoporosis. The purpose of this preliminary analysis of a randomized, repeated measures study was to examine differences in functional ability, strength, bone density (BMD) and body composition in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients beginning chemotherapy with doxorubicin or methotrexate, and a steroid in the antiemetic regimen. METHODS: 58 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients beginning chemotherapy regimens were randomized to aerobic exercise (AE) (N=19). resistance exercise (RE) (N=19), or usual care (CG) (N=20). Exercising subjects followed a home-based program 4 days/week. All subjects returned for follow-up exercise testing at 3-month intervals and had dexa scans of the L-spine and total body at baseline and 6-months. RESULTS: The AE and RE groups both demonstrated significant increases in functional ability 26% and 24% compared to the CG (-1% decline)(p<.01 ). Muscle strength significantly increased in AE and RE and declined in CG (p<.05). Average decline in BMD was -6.1% (SD=4.1, range=-2.9 to -16.4). AE demonstrated less decline in BMD (-3.4%) than RE (-6.5%)or CG (-7.6%). Differences were signifcant by repeated measures ANOVA (F=41.26, p<.001). Body fat increased 2.9% in CG, and decreased -.71 % in AE and -2.9% in RE. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that AE may reduce some of the bone wasting effects of chemotherapy and that AE and RE may assist in maintaining or improving body composition, functional ability and muscle strength during adjuvant chemotherapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||1|
|Journal||Breast Cancer Research and Treatment|
|State||Published - 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research