#LCSM Chat Topic 4/10: “Exercise During and After Lung Cancer Treatment”
The next #LCSM Chat will occur Thursday April 10 at 8 PM EDT (5 PM PDT) and will focus on “Exercise During and After Lung Cancer Treatment.” Our moderator will be Janet Freeman-Daily.
Exercise is known to improve quality of life and reduce recovery time, fatigue, sleep issues and depression in cancer patients. A recent study indicates high-intensity exercise during cancer treatment can have many benefits. Some facilities now offer pulmonary rehabilitation after lung cancer treatment to help patients recover lung capacity more quickly. Others offer fitness classes that adapt a fitness program based on the cancer survivor’s individual health situation. Even walking a bit each day can make a difference.
We’ll use these topics to stimulate the conversation:
- T1: What kinds of exercise and rehab activities are helpful during and/or after lung cancer treatment?
- T2: How can lung cancer patients learn about exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation options?
- T3: How can caregivers, family members and healthcare providers encourage a lung cancer patient to exercise without “pushing”?
Guidelines on how to participate in an #LCSM Chat can be found on the “#LCSM Chat” page of the #LCSM website. Hope to see you on Twitter!
Cure Magazine: Lung Cancer and Exercise?
“…exercise may also have important benefits for lung cancer patients and survivors, regardless of disease stage or limited physical activity, also called “de-conditioning,” which can cause the heart and muscles to regress and become less efficient.”
University of Colorado Hospital: Pulmonary Rehab Helps Patients Battle Back from Lung Disease
“The goal is to help patients recover as much as of their lung capacity as possible. That not only improves their quality of life; it helps prevent return trips to the hospital. ‘Physical reconditioning is the biggest part of recovery,’ ….”
Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults (PubMed)
“…aerobic exercise can be regarded as beneficial for individuals with cancer-related fatigue during and post-cancer therapy, specifically those with solid tumours.”
High-Intensity Exercise Best During Lung Cancer Therapy (Medscape)
“High-intensity exercise during treatment for nonsmall-cell lung cancer can be more effective than the same program after cancer treatment”
Physical activity preferences of early-stage lung cancer survivors (PubMed)
“The majority of participants reported a desire for physical activity advice and a willingness to engage in physical activity.”
Physical Activity and the Cancer Patient
In the past, people being treated for a chronic illness (an illness a person may live with for a long time, like cancer or diabetes) were often told by their doctor to rest and reduce their physical activity. This is good advice if movement causes pain, rapid heart rate, or shortness of breath. But newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.Too much rest can lead to loss of body function, muscle weakness, and reduced range of motion in someone with a chronic illness. So today, many cancer care teams are urging their patients to be as physically active as possible during cancer treatment. And now, many people are learning about the advantages of being physically active after treatment as well.There are many reasons for being physically active during cancer treatment, but each person’s exercise program should be based on what is safe and what works best for them. It should also be something you like doing. Your exercise plan should take into account any exercise program you already follow, what you can do now, and any physical problems or limits you have.Many side effects get better within a few weeks after cancer treatment ends, but some can last much longer or even emerge later. Most people are able to slowly increase exercise time and intensity. What may be a low- or moderate-intensity activity for a healthy person may seem like a high-intensity activity for some cancer survivors. Keep in mind that moderate exercise is defined as activity that takes as much effort as a brisk walk.
Some level of physical activity can improve quality of life for people with certain types of cancer, even if the disease is advanced (has spread to many places and/or is no longer responding to treatment). But this varies by cancer type, physical ability, health problems related to the cancer or cancer treatment, and other illnesses. The situation can also change quickly for a person with advanced cancer, and physical activity should be based on the person’s goals, abilities, and preferences.