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Schneider, Carole

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Cancer can be characterized as an uncontrolled growth and spread of irregular cells in the body. Approximately 559,880 Americans die from cancer every year, however an estimated 562,340 Americans are anticipated to survive from cancer. With greater advances in treatment and increased survival rates, rehabilitation of normal life functioning becomes a large priority for cancer survivors. It has been found that exercise improves physiological and psychological factors in cancer survivors, although the most advantageous mode, duration, or intensity has not been determined. Aerobic and mixed interventions (aerobic, resistance, flexibility) have been studied in depth but a pure resistance training program has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two resistance training protocols, (low and high intensities, as compared to a flexibility only control group) on muscular strength, muscular endurance, fatigue, quality of life, and depression following a four week training intervention. Nine participants were randomly separated into one of three groups (n=3), a high intensity group (HIRT), a low intensity group (LIRT), and a flexibility control group (FLEX). All groups improved in total body strength by 15%, 23%, and 46% in FLEX, LIRT, and HIRT, respectively. Significant differences were seen between the HIRT group and the FLEX group in total strength (p=0.005). Total fatigue was reduced in both the FLEX and LIRT groups by 31.21% and 47.61%, respectively. All groups saw a dramatic decrease in depression following the exercise interventions, with the largest decrease occurring in the HIRT group (-70.45%). Each group improved in QOL, with the LIRT group having the greatest increase (+23.18%; p=0.04). Both low and high resistance training appears to be well-tolerated and effective in improving quality of life and depression in cancer survivors, although high-intensity resistance training produces greater results in regards to muscular strength and endurance.

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Cancer survivors; High intensity resistance training; Low intensity resistance training


76 pages

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