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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 February;59(2):283-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08131-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Breast cancer: effectiveness of a one-year unsupervised exercise program

Gabriele MASCHERINI , Benedetta TOSI, Chiara GIANNELLI, Elisabetta GRIFONI, Sonia DEGL’INNOCENTI, Giorgio GALANTI

Unit of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy



BACKGROUND: Improvements in prevention and therapeutic strategies over the years have considerably increased the number of breast cancer survivors. Sedentary behavior is now acknowledged to be a risk factor for cancer and cancer relapse. Currently, there are different approaches to increasing the effectiveness of long-term physical activity in these patients. The aim of this study was to verify the long-term effectiveness of a home-based program for active lifestyle change in overweight breast cancer survivors.
METHODS: We enrolled 43 women (age 51.5±9.9 years), who underwent an evaluation of their spontaneous physical activity levels, their baseline aerobic capacity through a 6-Minute Walking Test (6MWT), their flexibility, grip and lower limb strength, and their body composition. We repeated the measurements of these physical and anthropometric parameters six times during one year of unsupervised exercise.
RESULTS: At the beginning of the program the sample showed a moderate level of spontaneous physical activity (physical activity level=1.44±0.12, steps/day=7420.3±1622.3). After being prescribed an individual exercise program, a significant reduction in BMI (T0=27.9±4.3, T5=25.8±3.0 kg/m2; P<0.001) and skinfold sum was observed (T0=99.5±25.2, T5=86.2±22.7 mm; P=0.019), with a parallel maintenance of cell mass (T0= 21.4±3.3, T5= 22.5±3.0 kg; P=0.654). The functional parameters showed an increase in lower limb muscle fitness and a reduction in diastolic blood pressure after 6 MWT (T0= 78.4±10.1, T5= 72.5±14.9 mmhg; P=0.032).
CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is recommended for cancer patients; this model of prescribing unsupervised exercise seems to ensure optimal compliance, thus allowing long-term therapeutic efficacy.


KEY WORDS: Neoplasms - Exercise - Life style - Body composition

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