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Ann Oncol. 2007 Dec;18(12):1957-62. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Cancer treatment-induced alterations in muscular fitness and quality of life: the role of exercise training.

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Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado 80639, USA.



Cancer survivors experience muscular weakness and reduced mobility, thereby compromising quality of life. This investigation utilized moderate prescriptive exercise to improve upper- and lower-body muscular fitness, flexibility, depression and quality of life in cancer patients.


One hundred and thirty-five breast and prostate cancer survivors received cancer and medical history screening and a medical examination, as well as assessments of muscular strength (handgrip dynamometer) and endurance (bench press, lateral pull-down, leg press, shoulder press and curl-up crunch test), flexibility (Modified Sit and Reach), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and quality of life (Quality of Life Index). Following the exercise assessments, cancer survivors trained in resistance exercise for 6 months during treatment or following treatment based on their results from the assessments and health status.


Cancer survivors following treatment showed significant (P = 0.006) improvements in upper-body muscular endurance (+46.8%), lower-body muscular endurance (+67.1%), core muscular endurance (+32.5%) and flexibility (+6.2%), with concomitant improvements (P = 0.013) in depression (-25.6%) and total quality of life (+7.2%). Cancer survivors during treatment showed significant (P = 0.012) improvements in upper-body muscular endurance (+79.1%) and lower-body muscular endurance (+49.7%) while maintaining core endurance and flexibility in conjunction with improvements (P = 0.022) in depression (-43.0%) and quality of life (+11.5%).


Moderate-intensity individualized prescriptive exercise is a safe and efficacious means to augment muscular function and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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