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Exercise for breast cancer survivors: bridging the gap between evidence and practice

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  • Medicine And Health Sciences
  • Biology
  • Education
  • Medicine


Evidence supporting the benefits of exercise following the diagnosis of breast cancer is overwhelming and compelling. Exercise reduces the severity and number of treatment-related side effects, optimizes quality of life during and following treatment, and may optimize survival. Yet, exercise does not uniformly form part of the standards of care provided to women following a breast cancer diagnosis. This commentary summarizes the evidence in support of exercise as a form of adjuvant treatment and identifies and discusses potential issues preventing the formal integration of exercise into breast cancer care. Proposed within the commentary is a model of breast cancer care that incorporates exercise prescription as a key component but also integrates the need for surveillance and management for common breast cancer treatment-related morbidities, as well as education. While future research evaluating the potential cost savings through implementation of such a model is required, a committed, collaborative approach by clinicians, allied health professionals, and researchers will be instrumental in bridging the gap between research and practice.

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