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Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2012 Jun;6(2):129-37. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e32835391dc.

Exercise therapy in the management of dyspnea in patients with cancer.

Author information

  • 1Integrative Clinical Cardiopulmonary Physiology Laboratory, Faculty of Health and Social Development, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Dyspnea is a frequent, debilitating, and understudied symptom in cancer associated with poor prognosis and reduced health-related quality of life. The purpose of this study is to review the incidence, pathophysiology, and mechanisms of dyspnea in patients diagnosed with cancer. We also discuss the existing evidence supporting the efficacy of exercise therapy to complement traditional approaches to reduce the impact of this devastating symptom in persons with cancer.

RECENT FINDINGS:

In other clinical populations presenting with dyspnea, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exercise therapy is demonstrated to be an efficacious strategy. In contrast, relatively few studies to date have investigated the efficacy of exercise training as a therapeutic strategy to mitigate dyspnea in patients with cancer.

SUMMARY:

Although much more work is required, exercise therapy is a promising adjunct strategy to systematically reduce dyspnea in the oncology setting that may also provide additive efficacy when prescribed in combination with other adjunct therapies including pharmacologic interventions.

PMID:
22516976
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3619221
Free PMC Article

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