Cochrane Reviews See Exercise As Beneficial for Patients and Survivors

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A pair of Cochrane Reviews have been published, throwing their support behind the benefits of exercise for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Perhaps they will put an end to the mixed signals sent of late by doctors and researchers alike regarding the benefits of exercise in cancer care.

"Together, these reviews suggest that exercise may provide quality of life benefits for people who are undergoing or have undergone treatment for cancer,"

In the first review, Cochrane researchers examined 40 different trials involving 3,694 cancer survivors randomized to exercise or to a control group. Exercise could have meant strength training, resistance training, walking, cycling or something like Tai Chi or yoga.

They found that exercise positively impacted overall health-related quality of life. It also positively impacted specific quality-of-life domains, such as body image and self-esteem. It boosted social confidence while diminishing anxiety, pain and fatigue.

The second study examined 56 trials involving 4,826 cancer patients in which patients were randomized to exercise or to a control group. Findings were similar to the cancer survivor group: it improved overall health-related quality of life, as well as physical functioning while diminishing fatigue.

Nonetheless, researchers urged that these findings be taken as reason to explore the topic more deeply. All cancer patients are urged to discuss these findings with their doctor to determine if exercise might be right for them.

Source: MedPage Today

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