Kathy D. Miller, MD; Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD


December 23, 2013

In This Article

Payoff Is Pain Control Plus

Dr. Miller: I want to ask you about the other benefits, because although the goal of this study was focused on the aromatase inhibitor joint pain, what other benefits did the women see? Did the exercise continue after the study was over and they were no longer accountable to a trainer or being supervised?

Dr. Ligibel: When you look at these studies, a proportion of people continue to exercise longer-term, and many people drop off a little bit. For this study, we will be looking at several other outcomes. This is the first presentation from this project. We are looking at inflammatory mediators -- serum markers to try to explain the mechanism through which exercise could improve arthralgia, quality of life, and other types of functional measures. We are also looking at body composition to see how it changes, to see whether people who build their lean muscle mass are those who experience improvements.

Those analyses haven't been done yet, but stay tuned. We will have more updates over the next couple of years. Other studies have looked at the benefits of exercise in breast and in other cancer survivors. There is some pretty clear evidence that there are a lot of benefits, not surprisingly, to increasing your level of exercise after a breast cancer diagnosis. Studies have been very consistent that if patients exercise more, they are less tired and there is a dramatic improvement in fatigue, body image, strength, fitness, and many other patient-reported outcomes.

Observational studies suggest that people who exercise more are at a lower risk of developing a breast cancer recurrence or dying from breast cancer in the years after diagnosis. Those are all observational studies, and it could be that there are other things that those patients are doing. But there is very consistent evidence at this point that people seem to do better from a cancer perspective as well, and that warrants further investigation to see whether there is a direct causal effect.


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