Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Effects of a combined strength and high-intensity aerobic exercise program in breast cancer survivors: A pilot study

Jairo Alejandro Fernández Ortega, José Antonio de Paz Fernández



The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a combined strength and high-intensity aerobic exercise program on the quality of life (QOL), fatigue, peak oxygen consumption, strength and IGF-I in breast cancer survivors (BCSs) who had undergone surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy and were being treated with tamoxifen.


Eight BCSs followed the exercise program three times per week for 22 weeks at an intensity of 80%. Herat rate reserve (HRR), strength, QOL, fatigue and insulin-like growth factor-I were evaluated.


The eight participants had a 97.8% adherence rate to the training program. Increased peak oxygen consumption (20%), increased strength (56.9%) in the arm without lymphadenectomy (AWL), and increased strength (104%) in the lymphadenectomy arm (AL) were observed. QOL was improved (24%) according to the SF36 and the FACT-B scales. Both general and mood fatigue decreased (67.7%), as did the plasma IGF-I levels (22.8%).


A program of incremental strength and aerobic exercise at 80% of the HRR may be effective in improving QOL, maximum oxygen consumption, and strength and in decreasing fatigue and plasma levels of IGF-I in BCSs and does not generate or exacerbate lymphedema.

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