Physical Activity and Breast Cancer: an Opportunity to Improve Outcomes

  • Lindsay L. Peterson
  • Jennifer A. Ligibel
Breast Cancer (B Overmoyer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer


Purpose of Review

To review current data regarding physical activity and breast cancer including cancer risk, cancer prognosis, treatment-related side effects, and patient-reported outcomes. We will summarize current physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors and discuss opportunities to study and implement physical activity programs in cancer survivors.

Recent Findings

Observational evidence suggests that physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of developing breast cancer, a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, and improved breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality. Studies also show that physical activity improves factors important to quality of life such as chemotherapy-related fatigue and the aromatase inhibitor-induced musculoskeletal syndrome.


Physical activity is an important component of breast cancer survivorship. Challenges exist in conducting clinical trials of physical activity and implementing current guidelines, yet there are significant opportunities to advance the field through translational research efforts and utilization of available community resources.


Exercise Exercise oncology Exercise guidelines Breast cancer Physical activity Breast cancer survivorship 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Lindsay L. Peterson and Jennifer A. Ligibel declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineSt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy LivingDana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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