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Cancer-Related Fatigue in Women With Breast Cancer May Affect Balance

Last Updated: September 01, 2022.

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For women who have completed treatment for breast cancer, persistent cancer-related fatigue appears to influence balance, independent of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) symptoms, according to a study recently published in Rehabilitation Oncology.

Stephen Wechsler, Ph.D., from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data to examine the contributions of CRF and CIPN to static and dynamic balance before and after a period of fatiguing exercise.

The researchers found that elevated CRF predicted increased pre- and postexertional static sway in the anterior-posterior plane. CRF accounted for 10.5 and 9.5 percent of the variance in pre- and postexertional sway, respectively, while CIPN severity accounted for 0.9 and 1.4 percent, respectively, and was not a significant predictor. Greater CRF predicted smaller, more conservative, anterior weight shifting during the instrumented sit-to-stand after exercise; greater CRF accounted for 6.6 percent of the variance in sway, compared with CIPN, which accounted for 3 percent and was not a significant predictor.

"A greater understanding of how postexertional changes in balance are experienced in the context of daily life may enhance our ability to provide individualized activity recommendations for individuals with CRF following cancer treatment," the authors write. "These individuals may benefit from balance-related education regarding safety and coping or compensatory strategies."

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