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World Cancer Day

February 4 is World Cancer Day.

In the U.S., 3.1 million women have a history of breast cancer.

Many report experiencing weakness and fatigue long after their treatment has ended, diminishing quality of life and interfering with daily activities.

angela smith

“Exercise is demonstrated to have tremendous benefits for cancer survivors, including improved fitness, strength, self-esteem, and quality of life,” says Dr. Michael Stubblefield, director of Cancer Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. However, many have difficulty participating in a traditional exercise program because of weakness and fatigue.

Researchers at Kessler Foundation, led by Guang Yue, PhD, director of the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research, are studying a new way to help by evaluating the effects of low intensity handgrip exercise on muscle strength and fatigue. No medications are involved.

This novel low intensity training is aimed at enhancing the magnitude of the brain-to-muscle signal. “What we discover could help many with muscle weakness," says Dr. Yue. Using the MRI scanner at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, Dr. Yue and his team are correlating increased muscle strength with changes in the brain.

Angela Smith (pictured, right), a senior research coordinator at Kessler Foundation, breast cancer survivor, and mother, participated in Dr. Yue’s handgrip study. “What is exciting to me,” she says, “is the potential to help cancer survivors who can’t participate in traditional high intensity exercise gain the positive effects of exercise.”

Women, aged 40-75, diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 20 years, may qualify for this important research study.

You can help. Learn more about participating in this study and share this information with others who may qualify. Your support makes a difference. You make a difference.