Researchers of University of Miami say that exercising could help improve breast cancer patients' quality of life while they undergo treatment. Physically active women were observed with less debilitating fatigue and depression. Therefore, their quality of life was significantly better than women less involved in physical activities.
Physical activity levels and mental/physical health of 240 women with non-metastatic breast cancer were assessed from four to 10 weeks after surgery. There were several studies in the past to have underlined the significance of physical activity helping breast cancer patients. However, this research is the first in its domain to highlight that exercises help in reducing stress during treatment of breast cancer.
Half of the participants participated in a 10-week group-based behavioural therapy stress reduction initiative. On the other hand, the rest were a part of less intensive, single-day educational session. After three months, evaluations were made for physical activity, fatigue, depression and quality of life.
Researchers observed that women spending more time in physical activity between time of surgery and treatment term were the ones with less fatigue-related disruptions. Out of these groups, women exercising more were less depressed and scored more than other group on quality of life.
Jamie Stagl, study author said, “Women who are physically active may also have more confidence in their own ability to continue with routine life and work-related or social activities, which bring meaning and satisfaction to their lives. This may result in lower fatigue, heightened quality of life and less depression.”
Taking into account the health complications during breast cancer, women just need moderate activity; they don't have to visit gym. Brisk walking for 15-20 minutes or playing with kids can lift endorphin levels that makes patient feel better.
Research study was funded by National Cancer Institute, and will be presented next week at the annual meeting of Society of Behavioral Medicine in New Orleans.
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