Newswise — Professional athletes undergoing treatment for cancer often are in the headlines. Yet, details of their training during such treatment rarely are disclosed. In this study, an elite multi-sport female athlete was followed to learn her training approach to keeping her ‘competitive edge’ while being treated for stage III breast cancer. Over 32 months, the research team monitored her fitness levels while she received chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and breast reconstruction. Her most pronounced decline in fitness occurred after chemotherapy, while she had smaller declines following surgery and radiation. This athlete did recover her pre-treatment fitness due to a combination of factors - persistence, a realistic training regimen and regular communications between her medical care providers and exercise physiologist. Given the importance of fitness on survival in breast cancer patients, this case-report should inspire and motivate both sedentary and highly active women cancer patients, as they recover their fitness and their lives.

For further information about this research, view the study.