Finding the best exercise programme for people with breast cancer

Project details

Researcher: Dr Gill Hubbard

Location: University of Stirling, Highland Campus, Inverness

Project title: Finding the best exercise programme for people with breast cancer

Key area: Treatment

The challenge

We know that exercise can reduce the risk of people with breast cancer dying from the disease by up to a third. However, nearly half of women with breast cancer do not get the minimum recommended level of exercise. As more people are diagnosed and live with breast cancer, it is therefore vital we find ways to help increase physical activity amongst people with breast cancer to improve their chances of surviving the disease, as well as other health benefits.

Project description

Dr Gill Hubbard believes that it would be beneficial to enrol people with breast cancer into exercise programmes as part of their treatment for the disease. However, it is not clear what the most effective way to achieve this is.

In this pilot project, Dr Hubbard will do preliminary research to explore two options to help women with breast cancer get more exercise. One option would be to enrol women in a weekly exercise session led by a physiotherapist, originally designed for people who are recovering from heart disease. The other option is to pay for a gym membership to allow women to attend exercise classes and use gym facilities whenever they wish.

Dr Hubbard will ask 20 women with breast cancer to choose one of these two options. Over 12 weeks, she will study which option women prefer, which is the most feasible, and also monitor how much exercise the women achieve.

What difference will this project make?

Dr Hubbard’s research will lay the foundations for a larger study to determine the best method to help people recovering from breast cancer to get more exercise. Ultimately, increasing physical activity amongst people with breast cancer will increase their chances of survival and improve their quality of life.

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