Association between physical activity and quality of life among Western Australian breast cancer survivors.
ABSTRACT Previous research has shown that physical activity (PA) may be beneficial to quality of life (QoL) in breast cancer survivors. Few studies however, have focused on the time period soon after the completion of adjuvant therapy or examined exercise issues separately for rural/urban or healthy weight/obese breast cancer survivors. Our study addressed these issues. Breast cancer survivors (N = 558) from the Western Australia Cancer Registry completed a survey that included the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) scale. Results showed that only 31% of breast cancer survivors were meeting the recommended PA guidelines post-treatment. Analysis of variance revealed that survivors meeting these guidelines reported higher scores on the FACT-B (mean difference 8.6; 95% CI = 5.0-12.1; p<0.001), the FACT-General (mean difference 6.3; 95% CI = 3.5-9.0; p<0.001), the trial outcome index (TOI; p<0.001), and several of the FACT-B subscales. Furthermore, healthy weight participants also reported higher scores than obese participants on the FACT-B (p = 0.058) and the breast cancer subscale (p = 0.033). There were no differences based on geographic location. We conclude that physically active and healthy weight breast cancer survivors report better QoL than their inactive and obese counterparts soon after completing adjuvant therapy.