Exercise and Breast Cancer Survival
By Bruce G. Gilbert
A.C.E. certified, U.C.L.A. ext. certified
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells grow in an
uncontrolled way. Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth that
starts in the breast tissues and is the most common cancer in women but also
appears in men. In the U.S., it affects one in eight women. Usually breast
cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules (the milk-producing glands)
or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple.
Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissue which includes
the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.
In recent years, there's been an explosion of life-saving treatment advances
against breast cancer, bringing new hope. Instead of only one or two
treatment options, today there's an overwhelming menu of treatment choices
that fight the complex mix of cells in each individual cancer. These include
surgery, then perhaps radiation, hormonal (anti-estrogen) therapy, targeted
therapy and/or chemotherapy. After a breast cancer diagnosis, you and your
doctors will put together a treatment plan specific to your unique
Unfortunately, all of these treatments have side effects. Breast surgery
frequently results in decreased strength and range of motion of the affected
arm and shoulder. Side effects from other treatments include fatigue,
nausea, pain, difficulty sleeping, lowered self-concept, anxiety and
depression. Weight gain is often associated with chemotherapy as well.
Exercise training is now emerging as part of a breast cancer patient's
treatment plan. Exercise in all forms is beneficial to breast cancer
survivors helping to improve quality of life as well as increase survival
rates. Here are just a few benefits of exercise training during and
following cancer treatment:
Improved quality of life
Enhanced psychological well-being
Increased muscle strength
Increased range of motion of the affected shoulder
Decreased fatigue associated with chemotherapy and
Lowered the incidence of nausea during chemotherapy
Reduce the attenuation of weight gain associated with
Improved sleep patterns
Early detection and a medical team is critical to improving
the chances of living beyond a diagnosis of breast cancer. Being diagnosed
is never easy, but once you start the process of getting the best available
doctors, the best information, joining support groups and allowing
encouragement from those who love you will ease some of the fears.
Bruce G. Gilbert
(213) 703-8554 or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org for a
special offer that's good for the
next 3 weeks only!
NOTE: This publication is not intended for use as a source of medical advice. You should obtain medical advice from your private healthcare practitioner. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health and that this or any exercise or dietary program will not put you at risk.