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Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Benefit from Exercise


Fatigue is a common side effect of radiation, and it can get worse as treatment progresses. New research has shown that women and men who were undergoing radiation for breast and prostate cancer and who took part in a 6-week moderate exercise program:

  • Felt less tired
  • Experienced an improved quality of life over non-exercisers receiving radiation
  • Missed fewer treatment sessions

    There were 39 participants in the study, and all were undergoing radiation therapy. Half of them engaged in a program of daily moderate walking and conditioning workouts using elastic bands.

    The group that did not exercise reported feeling more tired as treatment continued, and they also experienced a decline in muscle strength. The exercise group not only showed much less fatigue, but they also were able to increase their walking distance and time as the radiation treatment progressed.

    Presentation at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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