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Cancer – Improves cognitive function

Cognitive Function

In a systematic review 2 RCTs demonstrated an improvement in executive function and reported cognitive function in patients that had received chemotherapy for breast cancer.[9]

Quality of evidence

Grade B – Moderate quality of evidence – two RCTs demonstrating improvement in executive function – however only evidence for patients with breast cancer.

Strength of recommendation

Grade 2 – weak evidence – Further robust RCTs for not only breast cancer, but all other forms of cancer are needed. However it is likely any risks are outweighed by the benefits of exercise.

  1. Cramp, F. and J. Byron-Daniel, Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012. 11: p. CD006145.
  2. Brown, J.C., et al., Efficacy of exercise interventions in modulating cancer-related fatigue among adult cancer survivors: a meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2011. 20(1): p. 123-33.
  3. Cramer, H., et al., A systematic review and meta-analysis of exercise interventions for colorectal cancer patients. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl), 2014. 23(1): p. 3-14.
  4. Fong, D.Y., et al., Physical activity for cancer survivors: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ, 2012. 344: p. e70.
  5. Mishra, S.I., et al., Exercise interventions on health-related quality of life for cancer survivors. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012(8): p. CD007566.
  6. Cavalheri, V., et al., Exercise training undertaken by people within 12 months of lung resection for non-small cell lung cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2013(7): p. CD009955.
  7. Craft, L.L., et al., Exercise effects on depressive symptoms in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2012. 21(1): p. 3-19.
  8. Dennett, A.M., et al., Moderate-intensity exercise reduces fatigue and improves mobility in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-regression. J Physiother, 2016. 62(2): p. 68-82.
  9. Chan, R.J., et al., Systematic review of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions to manage cognitive alterations after chemotherapy for breast cancer. Eur J Cancer, 2015. 51(4): p. 437-50.
  10. Focht, B.C., et al., Resistance exercise interventions during and following cancer treatment: a systematic review. J Support Oncol, 2013. 11(2): p. 45-60.


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