Weight Training Twice
as Effective Compared to Aerobic Exercise In Improving Quality of Life
in Breast Cancer Survivors After Surgery
Researchers believe that weight training significantly improves the
quality of life in women recently treated for breast cancer. Minnesota
doctors found that six months of twice weekly exercise that improved
strength and body composition was enough to result in improvements in
the overall physical and emotional condition of the patients.
It is not unusual for newly diagnosed and treated breast cancer patients
to suffer from multitude quality of life limiting complaints, including
insomnia, weight gain, chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Although treatments for breast cancer have progressed rapidly, treatment
for these secondary complaints has only recently been compared.
There are several physical options available for the management of these
secondary issues involving breast cancer survivors. The researchers
compared aerobic and weight training and found weight training produced
Tetsuya Ohira, M.D. of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
at the University of Minnesota and colleagues found that weight training
improved the women's overall physical and psychosocial quality of life
score and global psychological scores compared with controls. They found
significant improvements in body mass and upper body strength.
Evidently this had the greatest impact on symptoms.
A recent study of the effect of aerobic exercise on quality of life
among recently treated breast cancer survivors showed to positively
affect only half the number of survivors as the six months of strength
training. The strength / weight training study involved eighty-six women
within 36 months of treatment, who were assigned either a weight
training exercise program or no treatment.
This was the first study to evaluate weight training and its effect on
quality of life among breast cancer survivors. "Changes in body
composition and strength," conclude the authors, may empower these women
with "a sense of return to feeling in control of their bodies that may
translate into feeling greater efficacy in other areas of life."
The study is published in the May 1, 2006 issue of CANCER, a
peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
By Dan Wilson
Books on Cancer
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