Recovery and exercise interventions for breast cancer survivors

Start Year: 2009
Finish Year: 2012
Chief Investigator: Dr Sandra Hayes
Grant Type: Early Career Fellowship
Institution: Queensland University of Technology

Early Career Fellowship

Alternative Title: Breast cancer recovery: problems and solutions

Survival following treatment for breast cancer is often associated with adverse physical and psychosocial side effects. More and more breast cancer survivors need to address these issues as the incidence of breast cancer continues to rise.

This study advances understanding of breast cancer survivorship by focusing on secondary lymphoedema (swelling of the breast and/or arm on the treated side).  This study aims to identify personal, treatment and behavioural characteristics that influence recovery, as well as mechanisms for reducing burden, optimising quality of life and ultimately improving survival. It is important to learn how to optimally bridge the gap between treatment cessation and the return to ‘normal’ daily lives for breast cancer survivors.

There is overwhelming evidence showing the importance of exercise in enhancing functional capacity and quality of life during and following treatment. Recently, evidence has emerged that participation in regular exercise can also improve the survival rate. This study also examines the efficiency of exercise interventions for breast cancer survivors and work towards integrating physical activity into the standard care of women with breast cancer.