Cancer and exercise: Using the evidence to optimize functioning for our patients

KEYNOTE // Anna Campbell, associate professor, Edinburgh Napier University and Nicole Stout DPT, CLT-LANA, Cancer Rehabilitation Project Coordinator, National Institutes of Health

The benefits of exercise are well established as safe and effective for individuals going through cancer treatment. Exercise interventions are effective during and after cancer treatment to enhance physical function, improve psychological status, and mitigate many of the common side effects associated with medical treatment of cancer.

However, exercise prescription and rehabilitation services are not routinely integrated into oncology care and many health care providers fail to proactively include exercise as a part of standard oncology care.

This lecture will review the emergence of evidence that supports exercise for the oncology population, identify where the field is today with regard to the evidence base and will suggest ways, that physiotherapists can improve their knowledge and skills in an effort to better integrate exercise into cancer care plans.

The overall benefits of exercise will be discussed as well as therapeutic interventions that use exercise to discretely target specific impairments such as fatigue, lymphedema, cardiorespiratory deconditioning, muscle wasting and others.

Exercise will be reviewed across all cancer types and will explore the effectiveness of exercise intervention throughout the continuum of cancer care, from prehabilitation to end of life.

 

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