In a nutshell
This study examined the exercise behavior and physical fitness in patients with advanced lung cancer. The authors concluded that regular exercise and therefore physical fitness is reduced after diagnosis of advanced lung cancer.
Cancer patients frequently have reduced physical ability and quality of life due to fatigue and illness. Some studies have looked at the effect of physical activity and endurance training on quality of life, fatigue and physical ability of cancer patients. Patients with advanced lung cancer typically have limited physical capacity. There is very little known about exercise behavior and physical fitness in patients with advanced lung cancer.
Methods & findings
This study aimed to evaluate exercise behavior and physical fitness of advanced lung cancer patients shortly after diagnosis.
The study included 227 patients with advanced lung cancer. The time from diagnosis to study enrollment ranged from 8 to 295 days. The authors compared physical fitness and exercise behaviors of these patients to healthy individuals. This allowed them to evaluate the level of physical fitness compared to behavior prior to diagnosis.
The authors used a self-reported questionnaire to assess exercise behavior prior to diagnosis. They assessed fitness by a 6 minute walk test and strength training for both upper and lower limbs.
Prior to diagnosis, 42.7% of patients reported regular sports or exercise. 82.8% reported occasional walks and 67% reported regular walks.
After diagnosis, only 20.3% of patients reported regular sports or exercise. 73.6% of patients had no regular physical exercise, however, 69.2% reported occasional walks (at least twice per week).
Compared to healthy individuals, there was an average of a 50% decline in exercise frequency, duration and intensity, particularly for resistance training. Roughly 50% of women and 85% of men had reduced endurance capacity after diagnosis.
Men had reduced strength in the elbows, hips and knees. Women had reduced strength in elbows and hips however the reduction was not as dramatic as in males.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that patients with advanced lung cancer had impaired physical fitness compared to healthy individuals. They stated that the decline in participation in regular exercise after diagnosis suggests that physical exercise should be included in anti-cancer treatment.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Feb 26, 2018