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Physical Activity and Women with Breast Cancer: Insights from the Expert Patients.
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (2010)
  • Siew Yim Loh, Assoc Prof, University of Malaya
Introduction: Physical activity participation amongst cancer survivors is low. This potent modifiable host factor has been disregarded in the cancer treatment plan for decades, despite its role in cancer control. The purpose of this study was to explore perception of physical activity among women with breast cancer. Methods: Focus group with purposive sampling methods were conducted on women at different cancer trajectory - ie. completed treatment (n=6) and undergoing treatment (n=8). The taped discussions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Concepts were identified as unique or shared between the two groups, and ordered into subcategories. Results & Discussion: Three key categories on barriers to exercise; facilitator/motivator towards exercise; and myths around exercise were highlighted. There were more myths and reservations about physical activity in the UT (undergoing treatment) group, than in the CT (completedtreatment) group. Facilitators included positive experience from physical activity engagement, easy-access to facility, and good social support. Conclusions: Although both groups expressed difficulties in engaging in physical activity, the newly diagnosed have more negative perception of physical activity engagement. Both groups did not note the significant role of physical activity and cancer prevention/ recurrence, which is a key strategy to promote the uptake of exercise and acceptance of active lifestyle for cancer survivors. Health care clinicians like occupational therapists need to play greater public health role in educating and counseling lifestyle redesign for survivors living with cancer
  • Cancer,
  • Physical activity,
  • Lifestyle,
  • Cancer Prevention,
  • rehabilitation,
  • Occupational therapy
Publication Date
Citation Information
Siew Yim Loh. "Physical Activity and Women with Breast Cancer: Insights from the Expert Patients." Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention Vol. 11 (2010)
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