Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1825–1831 | Cite as

Applying pre-participation exercise screening to breast cancer survivors: a cross-sectional study

  • Lotachukwu T. Igwebuike
  • Xiaochen Zhang
  • Justin C. Brown
  • Kathryn H. SchmitzEmail author
Original Article



Clinical guidelines recommend that breast cancer (BrCa) survivors be prescribed exercise. However, clinicians often do not prescribe exercise citing the presence of multiple health issues found among cancer survivors. No study has examined the proportion of BrCa survivors that can be prescribed a community/home-based unsupervised exercise program safely and independently, without further medical investigations or supervision.


Participants included BrCa survivors who received treatment at a university healthcare system between 2009 and 2014. We applied previously identified published guidelines for health conditions that may impede BrCa survivors from completing a community/home-based exercise program. Logistic regression models were used to quantify the magnitude of the association between demographic and clinical characteristics and the ability to perform community/home-based exercise.


Among 667 BrCa survivors, 65 to 75% was classified as able to complete community/home-based exercise as recommended by the clinical guidelines. Older age, black race, treatment with chemotherapy, and treatment with radiation were associated with the potential need for further medical evaluation prior to starting exercise.


A large proportion of BrCa survivors can be prescribed community/home-based exercise program safely and independently, without further medical investigations or supervision. Future research will be needed to determine how to identify the subset of BrCa survivors that may benefit from medical evaluation prior to starting exercise in a manner that does not interrupt clinical oncology workflow. Approximately 35% of BrCa survivors may benefit from medical evaluation prior to starting community/home-based exercise.


Physical activity Breast cancer Survivorship 


Funding information

This work received funding from NIH Grant # U54-CA155850 (TREC center).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

520_2017_4020_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lotachukwu T. Igwebuike
    • 1
  • Xiaochen Zhang
    • 4
  • Justin C. Brown
    • 3
  • Kathryn H. Schmitz
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Public Health SciencePenn State College of Medicine, Penn State Cancer InstituteHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical OncologyDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  4. 4.The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbusUSA

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