Group exercise sessions can help to improve the quality of life among patients undergoing early stage breast cancer treatment, a study has shown.
Researchers from Scotland's University of Strathclyde found that patients who took part in a 12-week programme of exercise sessions in addition to their regular cancer treatment had better physical and psychological outcomes than those not on an exercise programme.
Factors that were measured included levels of depression, quality of life, mood, shoulder mobility, walking distances and weekly levels of physical activity.
According to the authors of the study, which is published in the British Medical Journal, the benefits experienced by the patients "may have been caused by the exercise itself or by the group experience, or a combination of both".
They recommend that doctors encourage their patients to be active while undergoing breast cancer treatment and urged policymakers to consider including exercise as part of cancer rehabilitation services.
Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease among the UK's female population.
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