Tags: exercise | cancer | survival

Exercise Helps Cancer Patients, but Rarely Urged

Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:35 PM

Exercise has a powerful beneficial effect on cancer patients’ care and survival, yet doctors rarely recommend it as part of treatment and recovery, new research shows.
Mayo Clinic specialists, writing in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, noted studies have shown that patients who regularly exercise, after undergoing breast or colon cancer treatment, have a reduced risk of recurrence of the disease – by up to 50 percent. But many cancer patients are reluctant to exercise, few discuss it with their oncologists, and many doctors don’t give practical advice on physical activity after treatment.
"Generally, patients are not being given concrete advice about exercise to help them maintain functionality and to improve their outcomes," said lead researcher Dr. Andrea Cheville, of the Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
"Most [patients are] not aware that inactivity can contribute to weakening of the body and greater vulnerability to problems, including symptoms of cancer."
The Duke study found that patients who exercised regularly before their diagnosis were more likely to continue after treatment than those who had not. Many patients considered daily activities, such as gardening, sufficient exercise. In addition, the results showed patients took exercise advice most seriously when it came directly from their oncologists, but none of those studied had discussed it with their doctors.
Researchers noted exercise can improve patients' mobility, quality of life, overall feelings of strength and physical safety, ease cancer-related fatigue and improve sleep.

© HealthDay

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Exercise has a powerful beneficial effect on cancer patients’ survival, yet doctors rarely recommend it.
Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:35 PM
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