NACES - Exercise specific to Breast cancer patients
American Cancer Society and Exercise specific to Breast cancer patients

Questions to ask your doctor

Research has shown that patients are more likely to exercise if they have specific instruction to do so from their doctors. Patients and their caregivers should ask their doctors or medical team about the kind of exercise that's right for them.

Ask if you have any risk factors or are taking any medications that could interfere with an exercise program.

Ask if it's OK to drink extra fluids while exercising.

Ask if certain types of exercise are safer or better for you than others.

Ask if it's safe for you to exercise above a moderate level of exertion (about as much effort as a brisk walk).

Ask if there are any warning signs you should look for while exercising, which would indicate you should stop.

Tips for exercising during cancer treatment

The goal of exercising during breast cancer treatment is to help maintain your endurance, strength, flexibility, and ability to do the things you need and want to do. Women who were used to exercising before they were diagnosed with breast cancer often have to reduce the amount and intensity of their program. Women who are new to exercise should start slowly and rest frequently.

Do some activity every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.

Set up a daily routine that allows activity when you are feeling your best.

Try to include physical activity that uses large muscle groups (thighs, abdomen, chest, and back).

Try to include exercises that use resistance or light weights.

Try to include stretches, which increase your flexibility and maintain your range of motion.

Exercise moderately. This is not the time to push yourself too hard. Rest when you need to.

Unless you are told otherwise, eat a balanced diet that includes protein, and drink plenty of water.

Again, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases. For reprint requests, please contact

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