High Risk Breast Cancer Patients Get Fit


The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention Program at Roswell Park is a specialty program for women who have no personal history of breast cancer but who are at an increased risk of developing the disease. This multidisciplinary program offers several resources such as comprehensive risk assessment, risk-reduction counseling, patient education resources and prevention trials. The program combines the latest medical and scientific knowledge with the most advanced surveillance, screening and diagnostic methods for high risk woman. You may be eligible for the program if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • More than two close relatives with breast cancer
  • A family or personal history of a gene mutation (e.g., BRCA, PTEN)
  • Atypical cells on breast biopsy
  • Prior radiation to the chest
  • A personal history of increased breast density
  • A personal or family history of ovarian cancer

If you have an increased risk for developing breast cancer, you need to take a proactive approach to your health. It starts with exercise and good nutrition. Increased evidence shows a possible link between regular exercise and a decrease in cancer development and recurrence. The High Risk Breast Clinic recently introduced a Women’s Fitness and Wellness Program in partnership with Fitness 360 on Delaware Ave. in Buffalo, NY. Currently the program is only available to high risk breast patients, but we hope to expand beyond the breast clinic and eventually reach all cancer patients.

It has been a great success so far with a 170 lb. total weight loss between 8-10 women in the first session, and a 200 lb. total weight loss between 14 women in the second session. It costs $149 per session for 1.5 hour classes once per week for 12 weeks, and includes group exercise, online support, behavior modification and counseling, family sessions and nutrition counseling. The next session is scheduled for September 18-19. 

Not only does this program offer a great way to stay healthy and fit, it provides a sense of camaraderie and support. I think the women lean on each other for strength to not only complete the program, but to overcome the stress of a looming disease.

Below is a list of other programs in the area promoting fitness and breast cancer awareness:

  • Hope Chest Dragon Boat Team  A free floating breast cancer support program with exercise classes including aerobics, strength training, pilates, yoga, stretching and relaxation.
  • Summit Fitness Center – Run by a breast cancer survivor-trainer, the program offers group fitness classes, specializing in zumba, turbo kick, piyo, spinning and Silver Sneakers. Call (716) 297-4300 for information, schedule and fees.
  • We Can Row Buffalo – A wellness and rehabilitation program designed for breast cancer and all female cancer survivors. $50 membership fee includes participation in the We Can Row Buffalo winter and spring sessions at the University at Buffalo.

For more information about the High Risk Breast Clinic and Prevention Program call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355).