In the United States, breast cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in women. Within the year of 2011, 230,480 new cases and 39,520 deaths related to breast cancer were reported (National Cancer Institute, 2011). However, death rates from breast cancer have declined steadily since 1990, resulting in an increase in survivors. The American Cancer society reported in 2011, that there were around 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States (American Cancer Society, 2011). Therefore, preventing long-term health-related issues are of a particular concern for patients who survive for many years, especially after breast cancer diagnosis.
The exhausting treatments that cancer patients endure can often result in a significant decrease in their quality of life. The role of physical activity in enhancing longevity in cancer survivors has been documented by many studies. Findings from a recent review of the effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors suggest that physical activity is an effective intervention to improve quality of life, cardio respiratory fitness, physical functioning and fatigue (McNeely et al., 2006; Pastakia & Kumar, 2011). Moreover, studies have found that a greater level of physical activity is associated with improved overall survival from cancer with reduction in reoccurrence rates (Abrahamson et al., 2006; Pierce et al., 2007). Exercise might therefore prove to be valuable and of great importance to survivors.
Many studies have looked at the role of physical activity and its relationship to breast cancer. Kruk (2010) looked at intensity and timing in life of recreational physical activity in relation to breast cancer risk among pre- and postmenopausal women and found that women involved in physical activity of any intensity have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. High intensity activities such as aerobics, jogging, resistance training and bicycling are all factors that have been looked at to improve one’s quality of life in breast cancer survivors (Roger L et al., 2007; Park & Recreation, 2007; McGuire, Waltman & Zimmerman, 2010; Smith & Kilty, 2010: DeNysschen , Cho & Dodd, 2011; Knobf, Insogna, DiPierto, Fennie & Thompson, 2008). In addition, low intensity activities have also been widely researched. O’clair (2008) reported the improvement in overall health of breast cancer patients following a pilates intervention. Similarly, study performed by Mustian, Katual & Zhao (2006) reported benefits in breast cancer patients using a tai-chi intervention. Subtle dancing has also shown to have a positive effect on overall health for breast cancer survivors (Sandel et al., 2005). The use of yoga has also been extensively documented. Yoga was found to have positive effect on physical, mental and spiritual well being on patients. (Aaronson, 2007; McGonigal, 2009; Herman, 2008). These studies have shown to help holistic healing and improve perception of...