One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. With improved screening and treatment techniques, more women are surviving breast cancer. However, women live with physical and emotional side effects for years after cancer treatments have ended. Exercise can help manage these side effects, however, less than 30% of this population partakes in regular exercise. Our team has previously shown the feasibility of a novel exercise and education program for women with breast cancer during chemotherapy. In this study we will evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention and examine implementation characteristics for future work.
Participants will include women with a diagnosis of stage 1-3 breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Women will be divided into three groups. The first group will include 8 sessions of exercise and self-management education during their chemotherapy treatment. The second group will receive self-management education only, and the third group will receive usual care. Outcomes will be compared between groups at baseline, post-intervention, and at 6 ad 12 month follow up. Outcomes to be assesses include exercise level, functional mobility, muscle strength, quality of life, health status, and use of health care services.
Women with breast cancer are among the least active segment of the Canadian population. It is well known that inactivity can lead to side effects, cancer recurrence, and an increase in comorbid conditions. This proposed project addresses a long-standing need to help women with breast cancer become and stay more active by implementing novel exercise programming.