The effects of exercise on cardiovascular outcomes before, during, and after treatment for breast cancer

Kathleen M. Sturgeon, Bonnie Ky, Joseph R. Libonati, Kathryn H. Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Asymptomatic cardiotoxicity following breast cancer treatment is a significant issue for many patients, as these patients typically face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exercise has well established benefits to improve and maintain cardiovascular function across patients with and without CVD. However, there is a dearth of information on the effects of exercise on cardiovascular outcomes in breast cancer patients. While pre-clinical studies support the use of exercise in mitigating cardiotoxicity, only one human study has specifically investigated cardiac function following an exercise intervention during chemotherapy treatment. No significant differences were observed between groups, which highlights the unidentified role of exercise in altering the risk of cardiotoxicity in breast cancer patients. Issues such as establishing the optimal timing, type, and intensity of an exercise program before, during, or after oncologic treatment for breast cancer are unclear. CVD risk and incidence increase in breast cancer survivors post therapy, and CVD is the number one killer of women in the United States. Thus, there is an increasing need to define the efficacy of exercise as a non-pharmacologic intervention in this growing population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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