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The Benefits of Dragon Boat Participation for Breast Cancer Survivors

Cherie Blanzola, Paige O'Sullivan, Kendra Smith, Rhonda Nelson


Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women in North America (McDonough, Sabiston, & Crocker, 2008; Ray & Verhoef, 2013). While advancements in treatment have resulted in higher survival rates, women often experience considerable stress associated with their diagnosis and treatment (McDonough, Sabiston, & Ullrich- French, 2011). Furthermore, the impact of the breast cancer experience often results in survivors feeling a loss of power or control over their bodies (Mitchell, Yakiwchuk, Griffin, Gray, & Fitch, 2007) and challenges often continue for years after treatment is complete (McDonough et al., 2011). It is well documented that physical activity can positively influence cancer survivors’ physical, psychological and social well-being (McDonough et al., 2008), as well as overall quality of life (Carter et al., 2012). Recently, there has been an increase in cancer survivors participating in the team based sport, dragon boating, where 22 paddlers row a canoelike boat in synchronization for 500–650 meters (Mitchell et al., 2007).


breast cancer; dragon boat; quality of life

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