Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Most women with breast cancer undergo surgery and chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. These treatments trigger various side effects, for example, shoulder immobility, numbness or tightness, and lymphedema of the arm. Exercise-induced adaptations and better muscular performance may attenuate mentioned symptoms and side effects. The aim of this research is to determine whether there is correlation between physical exercise and the relief of symptoms predominating during radiotherapy.
Study was designed as a longitudinal sudy. The participants were female patients hospitalized at Department for Oncology at Clinical Hospital Centre Osijek, with diagnosed breast cancer, who were treated with radiotherapy after mastectomy. Research was conducted with an anonymous questionnaire, designed for the purpose of this study.
There were total of 36 respondents. There was correlation between feeling of worry about the course of the disease in the beginning and the end of treatment with opinion that targeted exercises will reduce the worry (Spearman’s rho 0,630, P < 0,001). Also, there was correlation between with opinion that targeted exercises will reduce the anger and assessment that exercises reduced that feeling (Spearman’s rho 0,625, P < 0,001). After the treatment, most of the respondents evaluated the benefit from exercise in reducing pain, anger, fear and worry with 4 on a scale from 1 do 5, and they evaluated the feeling that exercises helped them with grade 5 on a scale from 1 do 5. The majority of respondents expressed that they will continue to exercise at home.
In general, respondents had good attitudes toward physical activity. Most of them exercise few times weekly and they think that exercise is useful. They strongly agreed that they would recommend the exercise to other patients who are suffering from this disease, that they feel that exercises helped them and that their attitude about the importance of exercise changed in a positive direction.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.