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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


PEREIRA-RODRIGUEZ, Javier Eliécer et al. Fatigue associated with breast cancer after a training program. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2020, vol.62, n.1, pp.18-25. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background and objective:

Cancer is one of the diseases that generate the highest mortality in the world. Exercise-based rehabilitation programs are effective and safe to mitigate the effects of cancer.

The objective was to determine the changes in fatigue associated with breast cancer after a highintensity training program (HIIT), or a continuous training at moderate intensity (MICT).


Randomized clinical trial with 236 patients with stage II breast cancer, distributed in 3 groups (MICT, HIIT, and control group), to whom the FACT-Fatigue Scale and quality of life test were applied and an effort echocardiogram was performed. Tolerance, and perception of the exercise were evaluated through the test of walk of the 6 minutes and scale of Borg respectively. The training program lasted 36 sessions of 70 minutes, 3 times per week.


After comparing the respective groups, significant changes were evident in all the variables of the HIIT and MICT groups (p = <0.05%) compared to the control group. Also, there was a postworkout improvement of fatigue associated with breast cancer in the HIIT group (20.4 ± 5.6 vs. 5.1 ± 3.6) and MICT (18m6 ± 9m5 vs. 8m0 ± 4m2).


These types of training improved exercise tolerance, strength, VO2 and, above all, cancer-associated fatigue and patients quality of life. The usual care control group without physical training or supervised exercise did not show significant changes or improvements in fatigue associated with breast cancer.

Trial registration: NCT03915288

Keywords : Cancer; fatigue; aerobic exercise; high intensity training; strength..

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