Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the United Kingdom excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (Cancer Research Statistics, 2012) and for group of patients to have the best chance of surviving this disease they have to endure a combination of treatments (Barett et al, 2009). The treatment of breast cancer can cause a number of side effects, the most common being fatigue and it can last for many months after treatment has been complete (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2010). According to MacMillan Cancer Support (2010), fatigue can leave a patient feeling a lack of energy and motivation both physically and mentally and this can in turn reduce the patients overall quality of life. MacMillan Cancer support (2010) states that resting does not make fatigue better and suggests that one of the main ways to manage this is to undertake regular exercise. In recent years, research has shown strong evidence that supports the recommendations by MacMillan Cancer Support (2010). The Evidence presented suggest that physical activity can be an effective intervention to help improve quality of life, cardio/respiratory fitness, physical functioning and fatigue of breast cancer patients (Mutrie, 2007). However despite the evidence that has been provided to health professions, physical activity is not an integrated part of a breast cancer patients NHS pathway (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2012).
The implementation of exercise programmes for breast cancer patients would provide them with an excellent opportunity to improve their physical well-being and overall quality of life (ActiveABC.org, 2009). Glasgow has seen the launch of two exercise programmes which provides patients with this opportunity. These programmes were tailored to the needs of a breast cancer patient and recorded the benefits of physical activity (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2012).
The proposal of The Beatson Exercise Programme is to gain support from the multidisciplinary team who deals with patients who have breast cancer. This team will promote and sign post this programme to patients who are on treatment or have finished treatment. However this programme will differ slightly from ActiveABC and CANmove as the multidisciplinary team will not only sign post patients to The Beatson Programme but will also refer the appropriate patients to this programme by emphasis the benefits of exercise, explaining how this can improve their overall quality of life, where as the ActiveABC and CANmove programmes are patient self referral (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2012).
It is clear to see that physical activity is vital for breast cancer patients (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2012). By these patients getting active and undertaking the recommended level of physical activity by The American College of Sport Medicine Exercise Guidelines (2010), it can help them overcome the side effects of cancer and its treatment and also reduce the chance of dying from the disease and reduce the risk of it coming back. However more research needs to be carried out to increase the understanding about physical activity in reducing mortality and recurrence rates in the disease.
IDENTIFING THE ISSUE
Worldwide, more than 1.38 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer and it is the most common cancer in the United Kingdom excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (Cancer Research Statistics, 2012). Approximately 49,500 case of breast cancer are reported each year in women (Cancer Research Statistics, 2012) however early detection and improved treatments for breast cancer has resulted in an increase of survival rates (Mutrie et al, 2007) and more than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer survive their disease 5 years or more (Cancer Research Statistics, 2012). Women with breast cancer will have to endure a combination of treatment options so that they can have the best chance of surviving their cancer (Barrett et al, 2009) however these...