Nav: Home

Cancer patients who exercise have less heart damage from chemotherapy

October 07, 2019

Sophia Antipolis, 07 October 2019: Patients with cancer should receive a tailored exercise prescription to protect their heart, reports a paper published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1

'Cancer patients are often less active than adults without cancer,' said author Dr Flavio D'Ascenzi, University of Siena, Italy. 'However, exercise is essential for patients diagnosed with cancer who are under treatment, irrespective of the type of treatment.'

'Endurance training is more effective for improving cardiovascular performance and reducing inflammation, but resistance training may be a better starting point for frail cancer patients,' he continued. 'Other types of exercise, such as inspiratory muscle training, are safe and effective, particularly in those with thoracic cancer; therefore, the specific exercise should be chosen based on individual characteristics.'

Cardiovascular diseases are common side effects in patients with cancer. This is the result of cardiotoxicity, whereby cancer treatment impairs heart function and structure, or accelerated development of cardiovascular disease, especially when risk factors such as high blood pressure are present. Furthermore, cardiovascular diseases and cancer often share the same risk factors. Therefore, cancer patients are advised to eat healthily, quit smoking, control their weight, and exercise.2

Today's paper highlights the importance of an individual exercise plan for each patient, taking into account personal history, cancer treatment, response to exercise, and personal preferences. Exercise should start as soon as possible, even before starting treatment such as chemotherapy.

A multidisciplinary team should be involved in formulating an exercise prescription, including oncologists, cardiologists, physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists, and psychologists. Cardiac evaluation, with exercise testing (and particularly cardiopulmonary exercise testing or lactate testing) to determine response to exercise, is the starting point. The appropriate 'dose' of exercise (as usually done for a drug) can then be prescribed, including the intensity, type of training, and training volume (hours/minutes of training per week).

'Defining the intensity and volume of exercise is important for maximising the benefits of physical activity while avoiding muscular soreness, fatigue, and sleep disorders,' said Dr D'Ascenzi.

Ongoing treatment is not a contraindication to exercise, but patients are urged to consult their doctor before starting a new activity. Specific guidance is provided: for example, patients with low haemoglobin levels should avoid high intensity activities; those with low platelet levels (needed for blood clotting) should not do contact sports. Activities that could increase the risk of fracture should be avoided in frail patients. Breathlessness or fatigue must be investigated but, after excluding associated health problems, exercise can help cope with fatigue, which is relatively common in cancer patients.

Dr D'Ascenzi concluded: 'Physical activity before, during and after cancer treatment can counteract the negative effects of therapies on the cardiovascular system. In addition, it can relieve symptoms such as nausea and fatigue and help prevent unwanted changes in body weight.'
-end-
Authors: ESC Press Office
Tel: +33 (0)4 8987 2499
Mobile: +33 (0)7 8531 2036
Email: press@escardio.org
Follow us on Twitter @ESCardioNews

Funding: None

Disclosures: None.

Notes

References


1D'Ascenzi F, Anselmi F, Fiorentini C, et al. The benefits of exercise in cancer patients and the criteria for exercise prescription in cardio-oncology. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2019. doi:10.1177/2047487319874900.

2Zamorano JL, Lancellotti P, Rodriguez Muñoz D, et al. 2016 ESC Position Paper on cancer treatments and cardiovascular toxicity developed under the auspices of the ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines. Eur Heart J. 2016;37:2768-2801. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehw211.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

About the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology is the world's leading preventive cardiology journal, playing a pivotal role in reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease.

European Society of Cardiology

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab