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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
October 14, 2012

Psychologically Rehabilitated Breast Cancer Survivors More Likely to Exercise

A new study shows that with proper motivation, breast cancer patients can overcome physical barriers by having an active lifestyle. By Charlene J. Owen

Many older breast cancer patients remain inactive after treatment and rehabilitation, as fighting the Big C causes fatigue, depression, and decrease in muscular strength. But a new study posted on reveals that reviving an active lifestyle after the disease may help keep it at bay, and patients whose rehabilitation included motivation and conditioning are most likely to do so.    

Researchers at Oregon State University and the Oregon Health and Science University conducted a clinical trial on a 12-month supervised exercise program for breast cancer survivors ages 69 and up. They found out that those with higher self-confidence were more likely to overcome activity-related conditions (feeling tired) and to continue exercising even after the program.

Lead study author Paul Loprinzi says that even those will little self-confidence can be helped. "We can teach breast cancer survivors how to enlist the support of others and how to identify exercise-related barriers, as well as provide proven strategies for them to overcome those barriers."

As weight gain can trigger the recurrence of breast cancer, it’s important for those who have gone through it to continue being physically active. Rehabilitation should include motivational sessions that can help patient deal with physical and psychological limitations such as fatigue and dejection.

Once out of rehabilitation, the support from family, friends and other survivors can help a patient keep going. With dedication and the proper mindset, it isn't impossible to defeat the Big C.

(Photo by lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons)

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