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Cancer – Improves quality of life

Quality of life

No improvement in quality of life was demonstrated in meta-analysis and systematic reviews for breast or prostate cancer, however for head and neck cancers there was control or improvement.[4, 6, 8]

Quality of evidence

Grade B – Moderate quality of evidence. There is a heterogeneity of studies and the evidence to the benefit of physical activity during treatment varies amongst cancer type.

Strength of recommendation

Grade 2 – weak recommendation – There is clear benefit in quality of life if patients with head and neck cancers, however further clinical studies are needed to demonstrate benefit of physical activity in other cancer types. Recommendation however is that the benefits will outweigh the risks.

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  2. Stene, G.B., et al., Effect of physical exercise on muscle mass and strength in cancer patients during treatment–a systematic review. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol, 2013. 88(3): p. 573-93.
  3. Buffart, L.M., et al., Effects and moderators of exercise on quality of life and physical function in patients with cancer: An individual patient data meta-analysis of 34 RCTs. Cancer Treat Rev, 2017. 52: p. 91-104.
  4. Furmaniak, A.C., M. Menig, and M.H. Markes, Exercise for women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2016. 9: p. CD005001.
  5. Baumann, F.T., E.M. Zopf, and W. Bloch, Clinical exercise interventions in prostate cancer patients–a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Support Care Cancer, 2012. 20(2): p. 221-33.
  6. Gardner, J.R., P.M. Livingston, and S.F. Fraser, Effects of exercise on treatment-related adverse effects for patients with prostate cancer receiving androgen-deprivation therapy: a systematic review. J Clin Oncol, 2014. 32(4): p. 335-46.
  7. Cramp, F. and J. Byron-Daniel, Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012. 11: p. CD006145.
  8. Capozzi, L.C., et al., The impact of physical activity on health-related fitness and quality of life for patients with head and neck cancer: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med, 2016. 50(6): p. 325-38.
  9. van Haren, I.E., et al., Physical exercise for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Phys Ther, 2013. 93(4): p. 514-28.
  10. 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.
  11. Mishra, S.I., et al., Exercise interventions on health-related quality of life for people with cancer during active treatment. Clin Otolaryngol, 2012. 37(5): p. 390-2.
  12. Chiu, H.Y., et al., Walking improves sleep in individuals with cancer: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Oncol Nurs Forum, 2015. 42(2): p. E54-62.
  13. Matthews, E., et al., Sleep-Wake Disturbance: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Interventions for Management in Patients With Cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs, 2018. 22(1): p. 37-52.
  14. Mercier, J., J. Savard, and P. Bernard, Exercise interventions to improve sleep in cancer patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev, 2017. 36: p. 43-56.