Over the past 20 years, the understanding of the role of physical activity in cancer has been increased. Traditionally, patients were advised to rest, recovery, and save energy during and after anticancer treatments. Nevertheless, it is now clear that physical activity may help alleviate some side effects caused by therapies and a sedentary lifestyle; consequently, cancer patients should be encouraged to perform exercise. Epidemiological evidence shows that post-diagnosis physical activity is associated with enhancing patients ‘survival, especially in breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In cancer patients, exercise acts by improving health-related skills, particularly cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, and body composition. Moreover, several trials demonstrated that a regular exercise program effectively relieves some cancer and treatments ‘side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, thereby improving patients’ quality of life. The last update of the American College of Sports Medicine’ guidelines recommends that patients perform 90 minutes per week of aerobic exercise at moderate intensity, with strength activities twice a week. Despite these important benefits, in Italy, the spread of exercise-oncology programs and the research in the exercise oncology field are still poor, negatively impacting patients and producing a gap in the literature. The purpose of this thesis is trying to fill this gap, increasing the available literature, and proposing an exercise program based on patients’ needs and the current guidelines. Chapter one is dedicated to a brief introduction about physical activity in cancer. In chapters two, three, four, and five, the experimental studies that led to the development of patient-centred exercise program are presented. Chapters six and seven report two other studies investigating exercise as part of the multimodal approach in counteracting cancer cachexia. The last chapter is dedicated to a summary of the main thesis results.

Implement exercise in the oncological setting

Avancini Alice
2021

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, the understanding of the role of physical activity in cancer has been increased. Traditionally, patients were advised to rest, recovery, and save energy during and after anticancer treatments. Nevertheless, it is now clear that physical activity may help alleviate some side effects caused by therapies and a sedentary lifestyle; consequently, cancer patients should be encouraged to perform exercise. Epidemiological evidence shows that post-diagnosis physical activity is associated with enhancing patients ‘survival, especially in breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In cancer patients, exercise acts by improving health-related skills, particularly cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, and body composition. Moreover, several trials demonstrated that a regular exercise program effectively relieves some cancer and treatments ‘side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, thereby improving patients’ quality of life. The last update of the American College of Sports Medicine’ guidelines recommends that patients perform 90 minutes per week of aerobic exercise at moderate intensity, with strength activities twice a week. Despite these important benefits, in Italy, the spread of exercise-oncology programs and the research in the exercise oncology field are still poor, negatively impacting patients and producing a gap in the literature. The purpose of this thesis is trying to fill this gap, increasing the available literature, and proposing an exercise program based on patients’ needs and the current guidelines. Chapter one is dedicated to a brief introduction about physical activity in cancer. In chapters two, three, four, and five, the experimental studies that led to the development of patient-centred exercise program are presented. Chapters six and seven report two other studies investigating exercise as part of the multimodal approach in counteracting cancer cachexia. The last chapter is dedicated to a summary of the main thesis results.
exercise, physical activity, cancer, oncological patients, implementation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1049379
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