Physical activity levels in female breast cancer patients and survivors in Ekurhuleni, South Africa
Background: By using complementary therapies, such as exercise rehabilitation during and after cancer treatment, breast cancer patients and survivors can improve their quality of life and overall health while also negating the deleterious effects of breast cancer and its treatment.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the physical activity levels of female breast cancer patients and survivors in Ekurhuleni, South Africa.
Methods: The International Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (2002) determined participants’ physical activity levels during work, travel and leisure. The questionnaire was disseminated to medical facilities in hard copy format and online via the Google Forms platform. Statistics were computed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) with the level of significance set at 95% (p < 0.05).
Results: One hundred female breast cancer patients and survivors with a mean age of 55 years from Ekurhuleni, South Africa participated in this study. The findings reflected that most participants (59%) were meeting the American College of Sports Medicine’s physical activity guidelines when considering activity done during work, travel and leisure. No significant difference was seen in physical activity participation between breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors, or those attending private and public facilities.
Conclusion: For the breast cancer patient, physical activity and exercise may be a promising and effective adjuvant treatment both during and after anticancer therapies, improving quality of life, playing a role in increasing treatment tolerance, mitigating a range of symptoms and side effects brought on by cancer diagnosis and treatments and enhancing outcomes.
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