Incorporating Exercise Into the Cancer Treatment Paradigm

Barbara K. Haas

Melinda Hermanns

Gary Kimmel

exercise, cancer treatment, case study, recommendations for exercise
CJON 2016, 20(6), S17-S24. DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.S2.17-24

Background: The benefits of exercise for patients with cancer are well documented. However, exercise is still not a standard of care for this population. Several factors contribute to the lack of exercise prescriptions for patients with cancer, including challenges posed by treatment-related side effects, lack of knowledge among healthcare providers and the laypeople, and inadequate resources.

Objectives: This article reviews the benefits of exercise in general and specifically to patients with cancer, discusses the specific challenges and considerations required in recommending exercise to this population, and provides specific recommendations for healthcare providers to incorporate exercise into treatment plans.

Methods: Using a case study exemplar, this article discusses the benefits and challenges to exercise while undergoing treatment for cancer and proposes specific solutions and recommendations.

Findings: Oncology practitioners can provide the opportunity for patients to safely engage in exercise with the appropriate resources and trained personnel using a successful model of delivering exercise to patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Exercise improves quality of life in all patients, including those with advanced-stage cancers and those actively receiving treatment.

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