Published on December 14, 2012 at 1:39 AM
In a randomized, controlled study of 66 adults with stage IV lung or colorectal cancer, researchers found that patients who exercised at least four times a week for two months showed improved mobility, had less fatigue and slept better when compared with those who didn't exercise. Though other measures such as pain were unaffected, the study suggests that the exercises can address several important disabling effects of disease and that even patients with late-stage cancer are able to perform the brief regimens.
The exercise program and study have significant implications for cancer care, Dr. Cheville says. Other studies have suggested that cancer-related exercise programs may impose financial burdens; patients can learn the REST regimen in a single physical therapy session. A muscle-building exercise regimen may help patients at all stages of cancer treatment.
"Muscles may atrophy during cancer care," Dr. Cheville adds. "Our regimen preserves muscle mass so that if patients develop complications from cancer or treatment, or require hospitalization, they have the reserves necessary to ensure that their bodies heal."
Source: Mayo Clinic