Fight Cancer Fatigue with Exercise
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Exercise can do a lot to boost a person’s health, but it turns out that exercise may even help cancer patients overcome fatigue. An updated review of research concerning the fatigue many cancer patients experience has determined that aerobic exercise during and after cancer treatments helps to lower fatigue.
The review was led by researcher Fiona Cramp of the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences at the University of the West of England in Bristol, U.K. who, with other Cochrane researchers, looked at 56 studies involving 4,068 people with cancer to determine of the role of physical activity for fatigue from cancer.
An earlier review was published in 2008, but this newly updated one will include an extra 28 studies.
The results showed aerobic exercise helped to reduce fatigue for people with solid tumors although other forms of exercise such as resistance training seemed to have no effect on fatigue.
This could change the recommendations for reducing fatigue for people undergoing cancer treatments, who have typically been told to rest which may actually lead to increased tiredness and muscle wasting.
"This updated review provides a more precise conclusion, showing specifically that aerobic exercise, both during and after cancer treatment, can be beneficial,” Fiona Cramp was quoted as saying.
However, further studies will need to be done in order to determine how exercise could affect fatigue in patients with various types of cancer and at the different stages of the cancer.
"Twenty eight of the studies we included were carried out in breast cancer patients, so we need to know more about how exercise can help people with a broad range of diagnoses, including patients with advanced disease," Cramp was quoted as saying.
For now simple exercises like walking and riding a bike may be the answer for cancer patients long awaiting relief.
Source: The Cochrane Library, November, 2012