Exploring the benefits of exercise for breast cancer patients

Exploring the benefits of exercise for breast cancer patients

Researchers have suggested for years that  physical exercise may reduce the risk of breast cancer in some women and help breast cancer patients live longer.

Now researchers at Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are taking a look at  whether an exercise program can  help women who have had breast cancer  get regular exercise.

Both universities are looking for participants to enroll in the study, which is being led by SUI School of Medicine physician Dr. Laura Rogers, who has been studying breast cancer since 2002.

SIU is recruiting about 125 women for the study, and another 125 women are being recruited to participate at the UI.

The study, offered free to participants, is open to women ages 18-70 with a history of stage I, II or IIIA breast cancer who are finished with treatments and can undertake an exercise program that will be primarily walking.

The exercise program will be offered for three months, but participants will be part of the study for 14 months. Results can be shared with their doctors later.

Half the participants will get supervised exercise and group counseling, and the other half  (the control group) will be handed a packet of information, says  Ruth Franklin, project coordinator for the study at the UI.

Women tend to exercise less after breast cancer, and the study will help determine whether an exercise program improves their physical activity behavior, quality of life and overall health, Rogers said.

To enroll, contact Franklin by calling 333-3180 or sending an e-mail to BEATcancer@illinois.edu.

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