Exercise & cancer treatment

Exercise & cancer treatment – Brief Article

Cancer therapy can pack a mean punch. When treatment includes radiation and chemotherapy the side effects can cause nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Researchers in Canada compared the effects of exercise on physical functioning and quality of life during cancer therapy and found that exercise helps soften the blows. In a clinical trial, women with Stage I or Stage II breast cancer were assigned to one of three experimental groups–a self-directed exercise program, a structured exercise program, or the usual care without exercise (control group). The exercise groups were expected to exercise five days a week for a study period of 26 weeks. The researchers used a 100-point scale to evaluate lifestyle limitations in the three groups and found that exercise raised scores significantly.

New generation cancer drugs do a better job with fewer side effects today than even a few years ago but side effects can still make life miserable. Exercise may be one way that cancer patients can feel better and function more effectively during treatment.

(Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2001, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 657-665)

COPYRIGHT 2001 American Running & Fitness Association

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