Aerobic Exercise Reduces Radiotherapy Fatigue for Breast Cancer

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Findings in a quasi-experimental study of Taiwanese women with early-stage breast cancer.
Findings in a quasi-experimental study of Taiwanese women with early-stage breast cancer.

An aerobic exercise program can reduce fatigue in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Tsui-Yun Yang, R.N., from the National Taipei University in Taiwan, and colleagues assigned 28 consecutive, willing participants with early-stage breast cancer to an intervention of six weeks of mild- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training during their radiotherapy. The next 30 consecutive participants were assigned to routine care without special exercise.

The researchers observed no group differences in baseline fatigue severity, fatigue interference, or hemoglobin levels.

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There was a significant group-by-time-interaction effect noted for fatigue severity and interference (P ≤ 0.001), with the fatigue severity and interference decreasing significantly over time for women in the intervention group but increasing over time for women in the control group.

"The mild- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program reduces the fatigue of Taiwanese women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy," the authors write.


  1. Yang, Tsui-Yun, MSN, RN, et al. "Effects of an aerobic exercise programme on fatigue for patients with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy." Journal of Clinical Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/jocn.12672. September 25, 2014.

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