Change in physical activity during active treatment in a prospective study of breast cancer survivors

Marilyn L. Kwan, Barbara Sternfeld, Isaac Joshua Ergas, Allegra W. Timperi, Janise M. Roh, Chi Chen Hong, Charles P. Quesenberry, Lawrence H. Kushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Physical activity offers many benefits to breast cancer survivors, yet research on physical activity during the immediate period following a breast cancer diagnosis is limited. In a prospective cohort study of 1,696 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Medical Care Program from 2006-2009, we describe change in self-reported physical activity levels from around diagnosis to 6 months post-diagnosis and determine factors associated with change. Participants completed a comprehensive physical activity questionnaire at baseline (2 months post-diagnosis) and at follow-up (8 months post-diagnosis). Predictors of physical activity change were determined by multivariable linear regression. Reductions in all physical activity levels were observed (P < 0.0001); mean (SD) change (h/week) of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was -1.28 (4.48) and sedentary behavior was -0.83 (6.95). In fully-adjusted models, overweight and obesity were associated with greater declines in MVPA of -1.58 h/week (SD = 0.92) and -1.29 h/week (SD = 0.93), respectively (P = 0.0079). Receipt of chemotherapy only was also associated with a greater decrease in MVPA (-2.12 h/week; SD = 0.92; P < 0.0001), specifically for recreational activities (-1.62 h/week; SD = 0.64; P = 0.0001). These data suggest challenges in maintaining physical activity levels during active treatment among women with breast cancer. Interventions to encourage physical activity in breast cancer survivors should be pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-690
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cohort studies
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Radiation therapy
  • Sedentary lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Change in physical activity during active treatment in a prospective study of breast cancer survivors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this