Clara Lambrigts*, Anne-France Leclerc, Marco Tomasella, Philippe Coucke, Martine Devos, Olivier Bruyère, Thierry Bury, Guy Jerusalem, Eric Lifrange, Jean-Francois Kaux, Didier Maquet
Different clinical trials have shown the beneficial effects of physical training offered during and/or after breast cancer treatment. However, there are very few studies assessing the influence of type of treatment (chemotherapy, mastectomy) on the effect of this physical training. This study’s aim was to determine the impact of different types of treatment on the benefits of a 3-month multidisciplinary rehabilitation program following breast cancer treatment. One hundred outpatients who have been treated for a primary breast carcinoma were divided in 3 groups. Group A (21 with mastectomy and 21 with tumorectomy), group B (16 with chemotherapy and 16 without chemotherapy) and group C (13 who had finished their treatment for £ 4 months and 13 for ³ to 8 months). The 3-month program included physical training and psycho-educational sessions. The assessments, performed before and after the program, included functional assessments (“Sit and Reach Test”, maximal incremental exercise tests and “Six-Minute Walk Test”), body composition measurements (Body Mass Index and body fat percentage) and a questionnaire (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30). After 3 months, flexibility, walking distance, health status (quality of life) and all parameters measured during the maximal incremental exercise were significantly improved in all groups. All patients in the study benefited from the same potential for recovery, regardless of their initial characteristics indicating the benefit of the rehabilitation program.
Additionally, we found that in group A mastectomy patients benefited more from the rehabilitation program with diarrhea and financial difficulty compared to tumorectomy patients and in group B chemotherapy patients benefited more on flexibility and physical function compared to the patients without chemotherapy. In conclusion, all the patients obtain the same benefit from this revalidation program, with however more benefit for mastectomy or chemotherapy patients of the above-mentioned elements.