HSR20-110: The Promotion of Exercise Oncology as a Standard Part of Clinical Practice

Introduction: Exercise is safe and effective during cancer treatment and a valid option for health care providers to address the short and long-term effects of current cancer therapy and minimize toxicities. However, nationally, less than 5% of cancer patients exercise during treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to promote the standardization of exercise oncology as part of clinical practice by examining its effect on symptom severity, program outcome, and cost savings. Methods: This controlled clinical trial evaluated the effects of individualized exercise therapy in 1,191 patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Each participant participated in a 12-week individualized exercise program through Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, and completed a comprehensive fitness assessment and a subjective symptom checklist at the start and conclusion of their treatment regimen. ER visits, length of hospital stay, and 30-day readmits were restrospectively analyzed following sessation of treatment. Results: Individualized exercise had a positive impact on fitness parameters and symptom severity, and produced cost savings of approximately $3,000 in the first 6 months of exercise. Specifically, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, quality of life, depression, fear fatigue, and pain all improved following the exercise intervention. Conclusion: Exercise is an effective means to manage treatment-related symptoms in cancer and should be a part of the standard of care.

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Corresponding Author: Karen Wonders, PhD
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