Resistance Exercise Boosts Outcomes After Early-Stage Breast Cancer Surgery

Benefits include shoulder range of motion, strength, and quality of life
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FRIDAY, June 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Early resistance exercise following surgery for early-stage breast cancer improves shoulder range of motion (ROM) and strength at one month and six months postsurgery, according to a study published online June 5 in JAMA Surgery.

Jihee Min, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Center in Goyang-si, South Korea, and colleagues investigated whether an early resistance exercise intervention, initiated day 1 postsurgery and continued for one month, could improve shoulder ROM and strength in patients with breast cancer. Analysis included 54 patients with early-stage breast cancer who were scheduled for partial or total mastectomy.

The researchers found that at one-month postsurgery, 67.9 percent in the exercise group had fully recovered shoulder strength versus 3.6 percent in the usual care group. A similar pattern was seen at six months, with 78.6 percent in the exercise group having fully recovered shoulder ROM and 85.7 percent had fully recovered strength versus 21.4 and 17.9 percent, respectively, in the usual care group. Additionally, there was less loss in muscle mass and improved physical activity and quality of life in the exercise group versus the usual care group.

"The findings suggest that an early tailored home-based exercise intervention supplemented with supervised sessions during surgical visit immediately after breast cancer surgery was effective," the authors write.

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