The results of a recent systematic review in Jama Oncology validated the use of exercise as treatment over pharmacological interventions for cancer-related fatigue (CRF).
These findings (Comparison of Pharmaceutical, Psychological, and Exercise Treatments for Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Meta-Analysis – March 2, 2017) are important, as CRF is a prevalent adverse reaction in patients during or after cancer treatment.
Authors reviewed 113 studies and compared the effect of the 4 most commonly recommended treatments for CRF: exercise, psychological, combined exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical treatments. Exercise intervention had the largest overall improvement in reducing CRF and significantly better than pharmaceutical options. Clinicians were recommended to prescribe exercise interventions as first-line treatments for CRF.
Exercise prescribed and supervised by physical therapists can help patients exercise safely and comfortably during cancer treatment. It may also relieve many of the side effects of cancer treatment.