How Does Intensive Exercise Affect Women With Breast Cancer.

Being that breast cancer is still one of the largest causes of death amongst women in the U.S. and elsewhere solutions  are always being looked for to alleviate symptoms.  A study of the effects of exercise on fatigue, physical functioning, and emotional distress during radiation therapy for breast cancer have had some interesting and encouraging results.
V. Mock  et al from the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. conducted a published clinical trial to test a hypothesis that women who participate in a walking exercise program during radiation therapy treatment for breast cancer would show more adaptive responses by evidencing  higher levels of physical functioning as well as lower levels of symptom intensity than women who did not participate.
 Two groups were created  and results would be gleaned from a pretest and a post test. The testing departments  came from two university teaching hospital outpatient radiation therapy departments.  Forty six women began a six-week program of radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer.
After random assignment, subjects in the exercise group maintained an individualized, home-based, self-paced,  walking exercise program throughout the treatment while the control group received usual care.  Variables were measured before and at the end of radiation therapy. Also, symptoms were assessed at the end of three weeks of treatment.
The  variables were: Participating in the walking exercise program, physical  fatigue, emotional distress, and difficulty with sleeping.
 The exercise group scored significantly higher than the usual care group on physical functioning  and symptom intensity, particularly anxiety, fatigue,  and difficulty with sleeping. Fatigue was the most frequent and intense subjective symptom that was reported.
The conclusion that the researchers came to was that a self-paced, home-based walking exercise program can help manage symptoms and improve physical functioning during radiation therapy.
Further implications are that monitored exercise is an effective, convenient, and low-cost self-care activity that reduces symptoms and allows adaptation to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The TUTOR system which includes the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR have been designed to afford patients with a variety of limb movement dysfunction that can be caused after orthopedic surgery. The TUTORs are ergonomically designed gloves and braces that are placed on the appropriate limb and with special sensors are connected to dedicated and exclusive software. Physical and occupational therapists monitor the progress of the patient as he ”plays” certain games. The therapists then record and evaluate this information and design a customized exercise program for that patient.
The TUTORs are currently part of the physical therapy solution in leading U.S. and European hospitals and are fully certified by the FDA and CE. They are available for children as well as adults, are very cost effective and can be used in the patient’s home through telerehabilitation. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.
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