Advanced Breast Cancer Patients in Australia Sought for Exercise Study

Advanced Breast Cancer Patients in Australia Sought for Exercise Study

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers are looking to enroll advanced breast cancer patients in the Brisbane, Australia, area in an upcoming study to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and benefits of a regular exercise program.

Women being treated for advanced breast cancer (stage 2 or above), as well as those who received treatment no longer than five years ago, are invited to participate, said Sandi Hayes, PhD, a professor at QUT’s Faculty of Health who is leading the study. Sixty women who are 18 or older and live within 60 km (37 miles) of the Brisbane central business district will be enrolled.

The SAFE study is part of QUT’s Improving Health Outcomes for People (IHOP) program, which is run by the university’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and Faculty of Health.

During the 12-week program, participants will receive home visits from physiologists, who will tailor an exercise program to them and offer ongoing support.

Exercise during cancer treatment, or after early stage diagnoses, has long been known to improve patients’ quality of life. For this study, the researchers hypothesize that it might also impact breast cancer survival.

“This new study is looking at the 50 percent of women who are diagnosed with stage 2+ breast cancer and who currently do less than 150 minutes of exercise a week,” Hayes said in a press release.

Ten women have completed the program and reported several benefits, including an improved level of fitness, muscle strength, muscle mass, and quality of life.

“The women who’ve taken part have really enjoyed it and have been surprised about how capable they are of doing regular exercise and how much benefit they are getting from participating,” said Ben Singh, PhD, one of the physiologists who will visit participants. “We’ve had a few women with metastatic breast cancer take part who are having on-going treatment. Despite the treatment side effects they are experiencing, they too have also been able to safely participate and experience significant physical and emotional benefits.”

Participants will not be required to join a gym because the program will involve walking and at-home exercises using hand weights and resistance bands.

A larger study could be conducted if the researchers find that exercise is safe and beneficial for the target group.

Women interested in enrolling are asked to email safe@qut.edu.au or call 07 3138 3016 (Australia).

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