Exercise prescribed to reduce fatigue in cancer survivors
New research about what type of exercise best helps cancer
survivors overcome fatigue has won PhD student
Kirsten Adlard a Clinical Oncology Society of
Australia (COSA) award.
The University of Queensland School of Human
Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher said contrary
to previous medical advice, high intensity interval training (HIIT)
was most beneficial to cancer survivors.
"Around 65 per cent of people with cancer survive at least five
years after their initial diagnosis, however between 70 and 100 per
cent of survivors experience fatigue that can persist up to 10
years beyond treatment," Ms Adlard said.
"We were encouraged in our study to find that bowel cancer
survivors were capable of high intensity exercise with no serious
"Those who performed HIIT three times a week for eight weeks
experienced a significant decrease in their fatigue levels.
"Meanwhile, those performing moderate intensity continuous
exercise, experienced consistently high levels of fatigue."
Previous medical advice for cancer survivors has focused on rest
or low-to-moderate intensity physical activity.
Ms Adlard, a former student at Centenary High School at
Jindalee, tested 52 bowel cancer survivors in her study.
The explanation of her findings at November's COSA Annual
Scientific Meeting at the Gold Coast led to her being awarded the
Best of the Best for clinical oral presentations.
Ms Adlard's accolade was even more noteworthy for the fact the
25-year-old secured the award in a field dominated by senior
James Devin was also recognised at the COSA meeting,
winning a Best of the Best award for his poster presentation about
the effect of exercise intensity on cardiorespiratory fitness and
body composition in colorectal cancer survivors. COSA president
Professor Mei Krishnasamy said the growing body of evidence about
the benefits of exercise was increasingly influencing the
recommendations given to cancer survivors.
"In recent years research has widened our understanding of the
benefits of exercise for those undergoing cancer treatment in terms
of providing quality of life," Professor Krishnasamy said.
"We are starting to see more research that shows that exercise
can also help cancer survivors reduce their ongoing symptoms and
improve their odds of longer-term survival.
"Research suggests exercise should be prescribed to cancer
survivors just like any other medicine."
Media: Ms Kirsten Adlard, firstname.lastname@example.org
, +617 0421 011 511; Robert Burgin, UQ
, +61 7 3346 3035, +61 448 410