Reduced menopausal symptoms from breast cancer treatment through exercise and behavioral therapy

Share this article:

Treatment-related menopausal symptoms were relieved for women with breast cancer who received cognitive behavioral therapy, physical exercise, or both.

This study randomly assigned 422 patients to behavioral therapy, physical activity, an intervention combining the two, or a control group that received usual care. The study sought to evaluate the effects of psychosocial interventions and exercise on menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, and also on sexual functioning, psychological well-being, and health-related quality of life. The patients reported their symptoms at the start of the study, at 12 weeks, and at 6 months.

The women who received the interventions had statistically significant lower levels of endocrine and urinary symptoms compared with the control group. Also, behavioral therapy and physical activity had a positive effect on physical functioning. Most of the positive effects were observed at both the 12-week and 6-month follow-ups.

However, the researchers noted that physical activity “affects primarily the frequency with which endocrine symptoms are experienced, but not the frequency of hot flashes and night sweats specifically.” In contrast, cognitive therapy “seems to not only affect symptom frequency, but also the perceived burden of hot flashes and night sweats.”

A related editorial by Mayo Clinic researchers Drs. Debra Barton and Charles Loprinzi commented that, despite its limitations, the study demonstrated that “it is not sufficient to consider only biomedical influences [on symptoms]. …For complete symptom resolution, it may be necessary to address both the physiological expression and psychosocial context of the symptom.”

This study was reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology (2012; doi:10.1200/JCO.2012.41.8525).
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Patient and tumor characteristics in melanoma examined for clues to aggressive form ...

Researchers in Australia examined patient and tumor characteristics of melanomas for higher mitotic rates (a marker of tumor cell growth) in an effort to increase early detection.

Molecular subtyping can improve breast cancer treatment

The BluePrint genomic test provides more accurate information about the molecular subtype of a specific breast cancer, compared with the use of conventional IHC-FISH pathology tests, according to a new study.

'Overdiagnosis' in breast cancer screening is still not understood

One-third of women who are given information about the potential for over-diagnosis through the National Health Services (NHS) breast screening program may not completely understand the risks involved.