Exercise improves physical fitness and reduces fatigue and depression in cancer survivors
A clinically implemented, community-based and personalized exercise program can be effective at improving physical fitness, fatigue and depression in a diverse population of adult cancer survivors, according to a study published at the medical journal “Supportive Care in Cancer”. 
It has been estimated that in the USA live more than 15 million cancer survivors. These people live with impairments in physical fitness, as a result of the disease or medical treatment. These impairments can have significant and lasting effects on physical function, health-related quality of life and health utilization. Supervised or prescribed exercise programs can reduce or reverse declines in physical fitness seen during and after treatment and decrease fatigue and psychological symptoms, such as stress and depression. Supervised exercise has been shown to be safe in this population and is recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and others.
In the study, data form 170 cancer survivors was retrospectively analyzed. All participants were undergoing medical cancer treatment (chemotherapy or radiation) or were within 6 months of completing their medical cancer treatment. Mean age was 57 years and the majority of the participants were females (69%).
Improvements were observed in in all parameters that were investigated. The results showed that physical fitness, fatigue and depression improved with the implementation of community-based and personalized exercise program. Increased improvements were seen in patients with higher baseline scores of fatigue and depression.
These results are encouraging and suggest the need for additional studies to investigate the wider application and feasibility of adopting personalized and adaptable exercise programs as standard of care in cancer survivors.
 Evaluation of the effects of a clinically implemented exercise program on physical fitness, fatigue, and depression in cancer survivors. Marker RJ et al. Support Care in Cancer 2018;26:1861-1869.