MUNICH, October 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Including exercise as part of cancer care can significantly improve symptom management, quality of life and fitness during and after treatment, French researchers concluded in presentations at the ESMO 2018 Congress. Even among patients at highest risk of poor quality of life, exercise can make a difference.
Thierry Bouillet, American Hospital of Paris, France: "More than 3,500 cancer patients already participate in exercise programmes each year at over 80 cancer centres in France, at a cost of approximately €400 per patient, and the number continues to rise. Classes are run by trainers with specialist knowledge of cancer and its treatment who can adapt exercise programmes to individual needs."
"With 20 years' experience, we have seen that patients find it easier to exercise in on-site classes and feel more secure than if we give them exercise information and leave them to do it themselves or go to classes away from the hospital with trainers who do not know about the special needs of patients with cancer," added Bouillet.
In another study of 2,525 breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy, those who took 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week had significantly better overall quality of life than those inactive. Vigorous exercise included activities such as aerobic dance, heavy gardening or fast swimming, while moderate exercise included brisk walking, water aerobics or volleyball.
Antonio Di Meglio, Institut Gustave Roussy, France: "Around 60% of patients were physically active before and after chemotherapy; although their quality of life was adversely affected by chemotherapy, they scored consistently better on a variety of physical, emotional and symptom scales than those who were inactive."
"We can now target patients whose quality of life will be worst affected by chemotherapy for dedicated interventions including those aimed at increasing physical activity to WHO-recommended levels."
Gabe Sonke, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Netherlands, for ESMO: "This and other studies are endeavouring to confirm early signs that physical activity programmes may improve adherence to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and thus improve treatment outcomes. We know that patients who are already active are getting into these exercise programmes, but those who are not are missing out, particularly those with low income and less healthy lifestyle. The new results must encourage us to focus on how to be more inclusive so that all patients can benefit from exercise in improving quality of life during chemotherapy."
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ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With 18,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information.
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SOURCE European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)