“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A study looking at physical activity during chemotherapy for breast cancer
This study looked at whether moderate exercise helped women having chemotherapy for breast cancer.
More about this trial
Treatment for breast cancer may include chemotherapy. A common side effect of chemotherapy is tiredness (fatigue). It can also affect how you feel emotionally.
Some people also notice changes to their memory, concentration and how quickly they can work things out. Doctors call this cognitive functioning.
Researchers wanted to see if moderate exercise could help. In this study, they looked at incorporating walking into people’s daily routine.
The aim of the study was to see if physical activity improved cognitive functioning and how people felt during chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Summary of results
The study team found that physical activity could improve how people felt during chemotherapy.
50 women took part in this
- 25 women did 12 weeks of moderate walking along with usual care
- 25 women had usual care only
The women who did the moderate walking had:
- a pedometer to record how far they walked
- to set goals
- a diary to record their daily walk such as how long it was
Everyone filled in a few questionnaires:
- before starting chemotherapy
- after completing 2 cycles of chemotherapy
- 12 weeks after finishing 6 cycles of chemotherapy
The questions asked about:
- their physical activity
- how fit they were
- how tired they felt
- how anxious or depressed they felt
- how they felt about themselves
- their feelings and moods
Researchers compared the answers of both groups. They found the women who had done the moderate walking had significant improvement in their:
- level of physical activity
- self esteem
The team concluded that during chemotherapy a programme of moderate exercise managed at home can help improve not just physical activity but also how women feel.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040