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Cancer Rehabilitation Experience over Twelve Years. Abstract- Amsterdam, Netherlands 2009

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Cancer Rehabilitation Experience over Twelve Years. Abstract- Amsterdam, Netherlands 2009

Cancer Rehabilitation Exercise-Mediated Improvements over a Twelve-Year Period in Cancer Survivors

Susan D. Carter1,2, Chris P. Repka1, Lisa K. Sprod1, Reid Hayward1, Carole M. Schneider1. 1Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. 2Regional Breast Center of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.

Cancer detection and treatment have improved in recent years, resulting in millions of cancer survivors living with the negative side effects of cancer therapies. The increase in the number of cancer survivors necessitates the development of strategies that can counteract these side-effects.
One such strategy could be the implementation of prescriptive exercise interventions. PURPOSE: To summarize the exercise response in cancer survivors following exercise training over a 12-year period. METHODS: Five hundred-nineteen cancer patients participated in fitness assessments which examined cardiorespiratory fitness, pulmonary function and muscular endurance. In addition, patients completed inventories that assessed fatigue, depression and quality of life. Patients were divided according to treatment status: following treatment (n=446) and during treatment (n=73). Following the exercise assessments, patients participated in an individualized exercise intervention 2-3 days per week for 3 months. RESULTS: Significant improvements were found across time (p< .05) in blood pressure (-3.6%), resting heart rate
(-7%), treadmill time (+28%), pVO2max (+15%), FEV1 (+2.3%), upper body endurance (+46.8%), lower body endurance (+58%), and core endurance (+22.3%) with concomitant improvements in fatigue (-33.9%), depression (-27.3%), and quality of life (+5.6%) in the following cancer group. The patients during treatment showed improvements in blood pressure (-3.2%), treadmill time (+16.5%), upper body endurance (+39.3%), lower body endurance (+10.3%), and core endurance (+36.8%) with concomitant improvements in fatigue (-21%), depression (-11%), and quality of life (+6.3%). No differences were found between cancer type, treatment type, or cancer stage. CONCLUSION: Cancer survivors have physiological and psychological improvements with the implementation of individually prescribed exercise. Additionally, the response to exercise appears to be patient specific not cancer, treatment or stage specific. Our animal studies suggest that there are likely several mechanisms involved with the beneficial effects of exercise. Such mechanisms may include adaptations in antioxidant defenses, expression of heat shock proteins, regulation of apoptosis, as well as the expression and function of nitric oxide synthase.

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