Exercise To Improved Quality of Life for Cancer Patients

cancer lifestyle, Featured Article — By on April 2, 2011 at 3:09 am

If you are recovering from chemotherapy, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. But exercise may be just what the doctor orders to help battle cancer- related fatigue. Two studies cite the importance of exercise for cancer patients following treatment.

A study published in the May 1, 1997, issue of Cancer, said patients who participated in an aerobic exercise program after undergoing chemotherapy experienced better physical performance, increased hemoglobin levels, and less fatigue than patients who did not exercise. The study included 32 cancer patients with solid tumors or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who received high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. The researchers compared 16 patients in a control group (no exercise) and 16 patients who participated in a medically supervised aerobics program. The program consisted of treadmill walking five days a week for six weeks, gradually increasing in duration from three minutes per day in the first week to 30 minutes per day during the final week. Studies show 70 percent of cancer patients experience fatigue during chemotherapy and radiation therapy or after surgery. “Furthermore, up to 30 percent of cancer survivors report a loss of energy after treatment,” wrote the authors. “This impairment in physical fitness is a significant contributor to a decreased quality of life in cancer patients.”

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