Weight Lifting And Increased Physical Functioning In Post-Breast Cancer Surgery Patients

BOTTOM LINE  “For breast cancer survivors, slowly progressive weight lifting can reduce the incidence of physical function deterioration compared with usual care, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

FRIDAY, May 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) — “For breast cancer survivors, slowly progressive weight lifting can reduce the incidence of physical function deterioration compared with usual care, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Justin C. Brown and Kathryn H. Schmitz, Ph.D., M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, conducted a 12-month randomized trial of twice-weekly slowly progressive weight lifting or standard care in 295 nonmetastatic breast cancer survivors. The authors assessed incident deterioration of physical function after 12 months, defined as a ≥10-point decrease in the physical function subscale of the Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36-item questionnaire.

The researchers found that 16.3 percent of 147 patients in the control group and 8.1 percent of 148 patients in the weight lifting group experienced incident physical function deterioration after 12 months (relative risk, 0.49). There were no serious or unexpected adverse events noted in association with weight lifting.

“Future studies should directly compare the efficacy of weight lifting with other modalities of exercise, such as brisk walking, to appropriately inform the development of a confirmatory study designed to preserve physical function among survivors of breast cancer,” the authors write.

Abstract  OR ALL THE DETAILS IF YOU WISH

  1. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
  2. Weight Lifting and Physical Function Among Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial
  1. Justin C. Brown and
  2. Kathryn H. Schmitz

+ Author Affiliations

1.     Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  1. Corresponding author: Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 423 Guardian Dr, 8th Floor, Blockley Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail: schmitz@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Purpose Survivors of breast cancer may experience deterioration of physical function. This is important because poor physical function may be associated with premature mortality, injurious falls, bone fracture, and disability. We conducted a post hoc analysis to explore the potential efficacy of slowly progressive weight lifting to reduce the incidence of physical function deterioration among survivors of breast cancer.

Methods Between October 2005 and August 2008, we conducted a single-blind, 12-month, randomized controlled trial of twice-per-week slowly progressive weight lifting or standard care among 295 survivors of nonmetastatic breast cancer. In this post hoc analysis of data from the Physical Activity and Lymphedema Trial, we examined incident deterioration of physical function after 12 months, defined as a ≥ 10-point decrease in the physical function subscale of the Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36-item questionnaire.

Results The proportion of participants who experienced incident physical function deterioration after 12 months was 16.3% (24/147) in the control group and 8.1% (12/148) in the weight lifting group (relative risk, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.96; P = .04). No serious or unexpected adverse events occurred that were related to weight lifting.

Conclusion Slowly progressive weight lifting compared with standard care reduced the incidence of physical function deterioration among survivors of breast cancer. These data are hypothesis generating. Future studies should directly compare the efficacy of weight lifting with other modalities of exercise, such as brisk walking, to appropriately inform the development of a confirmatory study designed to preserve physical function among survivors of breast cancer.

Footnotes

  1. Supported by Grant No. R01-CA106851 from the National Cancer Institute.
  2. Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found in the article online at www.jco.org. Author contributions are found at the end of this article.
  3. Clinical trial information: NCT00194363.
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