Rehabilitation and Exercise Considerations in Hematologic Malignancies

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Patients facing hematologic malignancy and its treatment are highly vulnerable to profound physiologic, functional, and cognitive disability and often experience a significant increase in psychosocial stress. For optimal outcomes, this incredibly vulnerable oncology population will need earlier and more comprehensive involvement of rehabilitation services, including exercise strategies.

Exercise interventions for those with cancer have not been well studied, particularly in those with hematologic malignancies. Of the research available to date, significant methodologic limitations exist. There is a strong need for further investigation into the effects of and guidelines for exercise interventions in this population of patients, particularly among those undergoing or having undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, as this has historically been a difficult population to study because of the high morbidity and potential for medical complications. From the limited data available to date, exercise seems to be generally safe, feasible, efficacious, and capable of providing functional improvements for those with hematologic cancers.

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