Effect of physical activity on bone strength and body composition in breast cancer premenopausal women during endocrine therapy

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2013 Jun;49(3):331-9. Epub 2013 Feb 26.


Background: Breast cancer endocrine therapy (ET) is one of the most basic therapeutic methods in oncology. Well-balanced physical activity exerts positive influence on bone strength (BS) and body composition (BC), which has been confirmed by the clinical research regarding osteoporosis, prevention and treatment alike. Accordingly, in the following study, an attempt was made to assess the selected parameters of young, premenopausal women's clinical state under the influence of breast cancer ET, as well as to define the influence of physical activity on the studied parameters.

Aim: The assessment of the influence of aerobic and resistance training (AT and RT) on BS and BC in premenopausal women during breast cancer ET.

Design: This was a nonrandomized, prospective clinical study.

Setting and population: The study was performed in 41 outpatients in the Greater Poland Cancer Centre.

Methods: The examinations were made with the anthropometric and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements. The examinations were conducted according to the schedule: at the baseline, II-after 6 months of ET, III-after 6 months of AT (in 12 months of ET), IV- after following 6 months AT and RT (18 months of ET).

Results: After 6 months of the ET without physical activity the bone mineral density (BMD) in all regions and the hip structure parameters were lower in comparison to the baseline and there was a significant increase in fatty tissue. After 6 months of AT the BMD of all regions was lower than in 6 months ET. An introduction of RT caused the analyzed values of BS parameters to increase. Also a significant growth of lean body mass and free fat body mass was observed and so was an insignificant fall in fat.

Conclusion: The breast cancer ET is related to the changes in BS and BC in premenopausal women. The introduction of AT caused a slowdown in negative changes in bones, and body fat was reduced. The introduction of RT reversed an adverse tendency for BS and sarcopenia.

Clinical rehabilitation impact: The study results show that mixed type physical activity (AT and RT) during breast cancer ET could prevent negative changes, of this treatment, in body build in premenopausal women.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / administration & dosage
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Goserelin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Premenopause
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resistance Training
  • Tamoxifen / administration & dosage


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Tamoxifen
  • Goserelin