Interest of physical activity in lung cancer care: a systematic review

BJMO - volume 10, issue 6, september 2016

G. Reychler PhD, G. Haag , G. Caty MD, PhD, T. Pieters MD


Cancers can benefit from physical activity. Most evidences concern breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. Literature about lung cancer and exercise is scarce. However lung cancer is frequent all around the world. The aim of this review was to summarise the knowledge on effects of exercise in lung cancer patients. The benefit of physical activity as a preventive strategy was also analysed.
We systematically searched for studies published between 2008 and 2013. Used key words were lung cancer, physical activity, quality of life, fatigue, functional performance, exercise, rehabilitation, treatment, prevention, complication. The following databases were reviewed: PubMed, ScienceDirect, Chest, Cochrane, SportDiscus and WHO. Eligibility criteria were availability of full texts in English or in French. Studies were classified in four categories: exercises as prevention, in preoperative period, during treatment and after treatment.
Positive effects of exercise were globally demonstrated on physical and psychological outcomes in the four categories. Benefits of exercise were particularly observed for supervised program. Home exercise program benefits were less convincing.
Even if physical activity and exercise programs can be beneficial in prevention, during and after the treatment of lung cancer, the heterogeneity of the literature is too large to reach a conclusion about their place in the treatment.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2016;10(6):199–206)

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