Exercise in the rehabilitation of breast cancer survivors

Psychooncology. May-Jun 1999;8(3):191-206. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1611(199905/06)8:3<191::AID-PON355>3.0.CO;2-T.


With the increase in the number of women who have survived breast cancer, there is a growing need to attend to the physical and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment as experienced by these survivors. Psychological distress, fatigue, weight gain, premature menopause and changes in body image are some of the long-term sequelae of breast cancer. Exercise as an adjunctive treatment may help to attenuate these effects and thereby contribute to rehabilitation of women with breast cancer. We present data from the exercise literature and from studies on breast cancer patients that support this role of exercise. Following a critique of the research efforts, we present a brief outline of questions that should be addressed in evaluating the role of exercise in cancer rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Image
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy / psychology
  • Mastectomy / rehabilitation
  • Menopause, Premature / physiology
  • Menopause, Premature / psychology
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Mood Disorders / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Weight Gain