BACKGROUND: Regular physical activity has been recommended for the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Besides being a protective factor against breast cancer, physical activity following the diagnosis of breast cancer has been associated with an improved quality of life and survival. The aim of this study was to assess levels of physical activity in women who had undergone mastectomy without breast reconstruction and in women who had undergone breast reconstruction after breast cancer treatment.
METHODS: Two groups, each with 18 patients, comprised the patient series. One group comprised women who had undergone mastectomy without breast reconstruction, and the other group comprised women who had undergone mastectomy and breast reconstruction. All patients were aged between 18 and 60 years. The exclusion criteria were physical disability; illiteracy; ongoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or psychiatric therapy; and surgery performed within the previous 12 months. Study participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed by applying the chi-square and Student's t tests, adopting a significance level of P < 0.05.
RESULTS: In the group of women who had undergone mastectomy without breast reconstruction, 16.7% were very active, 61.1% were active, and 22.2% were insufficiently active. In the group of women who had undergone mastectomy with breast reconstruction, 55.6% were very active, 33.3% were active, and 11.1% were insufficiently active. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the level of physical activity among women who underwent breast reconstruction was higher than that among women who underwent mastectomy without breast reconstruction.
Keywords: Mammaplasty. Breast neoplasms. Quality of life. Questionnaires.