Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Courtney Jensen

First Committee Member

Mark Van Ness

Second Committee Member

Paul M. Vosti


Cancer is the second leading cause of death, with about approximately 1.9 million Americans being diagnosed each year. Yet, it has high survival rates with the help of advancing treatments like radiation therapy. Cancer patients and survivors are contingent on experiencing a decline in physical functioning, quality of life, and physiological parameters. Treatment is effective and can prolong life expectancy but can be deleterious to a patient’s health. Parallel with cancer's impact on Americans is cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. The development of cardiovascular disease is not spread accordantly among all ethnicities. Hispanics are more likely to have a type of cardiovascular disease. Structured exercise has consistently been established to be an effective countermeasure for diminishing cardiovascular risk factors, adverse side effects, and symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effect of structured exercise to address 3 questions with limited data. The evaluation included the incidence of cardiovascular disease in at-risk Hispanics, physiological adaptions to a structured exercise program, and the effect of radiation therapy on exercise outcomes. Subjects for each study were enrolled in a 6 10-week structured exercise program consisting of aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises. Conclusions were no difference in exercise benefits in ethnicity but exercise did improve cancer survivors’ physical functioning in all domains.





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