Resistance Exercise Program During Breast Cancer Treatment: a Feasibility Study


  • Claudia Arab Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Vitor Giatte Angarten Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Tânia Brusque Crocetta Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Isabel Cristina Esposito Sorpreso Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Luiz Carlos de Abreu
  • Alexandro Andrade



Exercise, Breast Neoplasm, Feasibility Studies.


Background: In the last two decades, physical training has been recognized as an important means of prevention and rehabilitation for patients with breast cancer. In Brazil, physical exercise for patients with BC is a new area of study. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of implementing a resistance exercise program for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment and to examine the effects of the resistance exercise program on psychological and physical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a non-randomized controlled trial. Eleven women (55.08 ± 7.8 years) undergoing radiotherapy and hormone therapy for breast cancer were divided into exercise group (n = 6) and control group (n = 5). The feasibility was evaluated by the volume of training performed by each patient compared to the total volume of training prescription. The resistance exercise program consisted of 12 weeks and 36 sessions (3x per week), and intensity between 50 and 70% of one maximum repetition. Fitness (6-minute walk test), quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), mood states (BRUMS), sleep quality (Pittsburgh), and body image (Body Image after Breast Cancer) were investigated before and after resistance exercise program. Data were analyzed by comparison inter and intra groups (p=0.05). Findings: The resistance exercise program implementation was feasible (>80%). There were no adverse events due to the resistance exercise program, and resistance exercise program adherence was 83.6% with no dropouts. Twelve weeks of resistance training appeared to have positive effects on quality of life, sleep quality, physical fitness, body image, and fatigue in patients undergoing breast cancer treatment. Conclusions: The implementation of a REP in a university in the south of Brazil proved to be feasible, tolerable, and adhered to breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. The 12-week resistance exercise program apparently produces positive effects on psychological and physical outcomes in patients undergoing breast cancer treatment. This is the first study about physical exercise during breast cancer treatment in Brazil and seems to be a promising research area as well as internationally.


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