Walking May Relieve Fatigue in Leukemia Patients

Walking May Relieve Fatigue in Leukemia Patients

A walking exercise program can reduce fatigue levels in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) undergoing chemotherapy, according to the results of a new study.

Dr. Yeur-Hur Lai of National Taiwan University in Taipei and colleagues randomly assigned 22 hospitalized AML patients undergoing chemotherapy to a walking group or to a control group. The experimental group walked 12 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 3 weeks, and the control group received standard ward care.

All patients were evaluated before chemotherapy began and on days 7, 14, and 21 of chemotherapy. The complete study findings are published in the May issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

The investigators report that patients in the walking exercise program had lower levels of fatigue intensity and interference than those in the control group. Levels of symptom distress, anxiety, and depression were also lower in the walking group. A significantly greater increase in 12-minute walking distance was also observed in patients in the interventional group compared with those in the control group.

"Taken together, our preliminary findings suggest that a brief exercise-driven program, such as the walking exercise program, should be started at the beginning of chemotherapy to decrease chemotherapy-related fatigue," Lai's team concluded. "Standardizing the walking exercise program as part of a chemotherapy-related care model should be feasible and encouraged to improve cancer-related fatigue experiences."


Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, May 2008

Reuters story reported on www.cancerpage.com, June 2008

Ann's NOTE: Several years ago we posted the story about breast cancer survivors benefiting from exercise at all stages, ages and times in their survivorship, including during treatment. It would be a waste of time, energy, money and more to check this concept out with each and every type of cancer. Why can't we use common sense and see that this is a GOOD idea for all of us with cancer?

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