The Prevention of Disablement: A Framework for the Breast Cancer Trajectory


  • Beverly S. Reigle PhD RN

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Beverly S. Reigle, PhD RN, is assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing.

3110 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038;


More than 2 million women in the United States are breast cancer survivors. This is largely due to advances in early detection and treatment and is underscored by a survival rate of 88% at 5 years postdiagnosis for all stages of breast cancer. Although much progress has been made in combating the disease, women diagnosed with breast cancer endure multiple assaults to the body both from the disease and treatments. Surgical and adjuvant therapies are associated with complications and side effects that may lead to functional limitations, disability, and a poor quality of life. The Model of Disability and Disability Prevention provides a framework for addressing the challenges of the breast cancer trajectory. From pathology to disability, the model offers an approach to preventative and restorative interventions. Exercise is highlighted as an intervention that significantly affects the breast cancer experience at multiple points along the disablement continuum.