The purpose of this study is to conduct a 12-month randomized controlled trial comparing the
effects of strength training exercise to stretching and relaxation exercise (control) on
body composition (bone, muscle and fat mass), energy balance, bone turnover, and physical
function (strength, power, gait, balance and self-report physical function and symptoms) in
women who experienced premature menopause from chemotherapy for breast cancer.
As a result of treatment, breast cancer survivors typically experience unhealthy changes in
body composition (bone, muscle and fat). Treatments disrupt normal bone and energy balance
resulting in bone and muscle wasting and fat gain. Premenopausal women are at greatest risk
for these declines because most are thrust into early menopause from chemotherapy. Hormone
manipulation therapy (i.e., tamoxifen or arimidex) may further affect these tissues.
Exercise can prevent bone and muscle loss and promote fat loss. However, the ability of
exercise to reverse unfavorable changes in all components of body composition in women
experiencing early menopause from breast cancer treatment has not been specifically studied.
- Diagnosed breast cancer stage I-IIIa
- Completion of a chemotherapy regimen within the previous 5 years
- Premenopausal status (9-12 menstrual cycles/year) at the initiation of chemotherapy
- Complete absence of menstrual cycles for at least 6 months and within one year after
starting chemotherapy OR confirmed menopause by blood tests conducted in the last 12
months prior to enrollment.
- Presence of any known metastases
- Clinically defined osteoporosis
- Current or previous use of medications known to affect bone metabolism
- Current regular participation (>2x/wk for at least 30 min/session) in planned impact
activities (i.e., volleyball, basketball), or resistance training
- A medical condition, disorder, or medication that contraindicates participation in
moderate intensity impact or resistance exercise