MUMBAI:The best way to beat cancer-related fatigue may be exercise and/or psychological therapy. This is a finding of a research paper published in the JAMA Oncology journal that also found that exercises worked better than medications for many patients. · “If a cancer patient is having trouble with fatigue, rather than looking for extra cups of coffee, a nap, or a pharmaceutical solution, consider a 15-minute walk,” said lead author Karen Mustian in the University of Rochester Medical Center.
A press released sent by the university said that its scientists analysed the outcomes of 113 studies on cancer-related fatigue. Over 11,000 patients were involved in the 113 studies. Nearly half were women with breast cancer; ten studies focused on other types of cancer and enrolled only men. ”Data show that exercise alone–whether aerobic or anaerobic–reduced cancer-related fatigue most significantly. Psychological interventions such as therapy designed to provide education, change personal behavior, and adapt the way a person thinks about his or her circumstances, similarly improved fatigue. Studies that delivered a combination of exercise and psychological therapy had mixed results,” said the press release.
Finally, the study showed that drugs tested for treating cancer-related fatigue were not as effective. “The literature bears out that these drugs don’t work very well although they are continually prescribed,” said Mustian. “Cancer patients already take a lot of medications and they all come with risks and side effects. So any time you can subtract a pharmaceutical from the picture it usually benefits patients.”
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