Physical activity reduces risk of development in lung cancer patients

2 Apr 2015

Exercise and physical activity should be considered as therapeutic options for lung cancer as they have been shown to reduce symptoms, increase exercise tolerance, improve quality of life, and potentially reduce length of hospital stay and complications following surgery for lung cancer.

Dr. Gerard A. Silvestri, Dr. Brett Bade, and colleagues at Medical University of South Carolina have reviewed the safety, benefits, and application of increasing physical activity and exercise in lung cancer with the goal to summarize the effect on improved lung cancer outcomes.

Physicians should provide physical activity advice and exercise guidance

After analyzing the review, Dr. Silvestri, Dr. Bade, and their colleagues arrived at the following conclusions:

  • Most lung cancer patients (regardless of stage) want physical activity advice directly from a physician at a cancer center before cancer treatment and
  • Exercise guidance may increase compliance with a dedicated program.
  • Physical activity reduces risk of cancer development in multiple cancer types including lung. Multiple trials have shown that increased activity reduces symptom burden and that exercise interventions may have beneficial effects on quality of life, physical function, social function, and fatigue.
  • Preoperative exercise in lung cancer patients appears to be safe with improvement in operability, operative risk, post-operative complications, as well as increase exercise capacity. Preoperative interventions may be more beneficial than post.
  • Non-surgical advanced-stage lung cancer patients may benefit from increased physical activity by improving exercise tolerance and symptom burden, though the location, duration, and intensity to be recommended is not clear.
  • Low-intensity regimens such as daily walking or step-counting may provide a safe mechanism to increase physical activity while identifying an individual patient's activity limits. Both supervised and self-directed programs have potential benefit, though how to choose one versus the other is not yet clear.

CareAcross-group-exercise

“Exercise and physical activity are safe for those with lung cancer”

The same benefits of increased activity observed in lung cancer patients, especially improved symptoms and quality of life, appear to apply to lung cancer survivors as well.

The authors conclude "clinicians should (at minimum) consider physical activity early, counsel against inactivity, and encourage physical activity in all stages of lung cancer patients and lung cancer survivors. This review shows uniform recognition that exercise and physical activity are safe for those with lung cancer, patients are requesting increased activity counseling, and multiple studies and reviews show potential clinical benefit in quality of life, exercise tolerance, and post-operative complications. Further, we know that inactivity in cancer patients is associated with worse outcomes."

 

 

 

Source: Science Daily
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