American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

EXPERT PANEL

Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MPH, FACSM

EXPERT PANEL

Kerry S. Courneya, PhD

EXPERT PANEL

Charles Matthews, PhD, FACSM

EXPERT PANEL

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD

EXPERT PANEL

Daniel A. Galvão, PhD

EXPERT PANEL

Bernardine M. Pinto, PhD

EXPERT PANEL

Melinda L. Irwin, PhD, FACSM

EXPERT PANEL

Kathleen Y. Wolin, ScD, FACSM

EXPERT PANEL

Roanne J. Segal, MD, FRCP

EXPERT PANEL

Alejandro Lucia, MD, PhD

EXPERT PANEL

Carole M. Schneider, PhD, FACSM

EXPERT PANEL

Vivian E. von Gruenigen, MD

EXPERT PANEL

Anna L. Schwartz, PhD, FAAN

EXPERT PANEL

Early detection and improved treatments for cancer have resulted in roughly 12 million survivors alive in the United States today. This growing population faces unique challenges from their disease and treatments, including risk for recurrent cancer, other chronic diseases, and persistent adverse effects on physical functioning and quality of life. Historically, clinicians advised cancer patients to rest and to avoid activity; however, emerging research on exercise has challenged this recommendation. To this end, a roundtable was convened by American College of Sports Medicine to distill the literature on the safety and efficacy of exercise training during and after adjuvant cancer therapy and to provide guidelines. The roundtable concluded that exercise training is safe during and after cancer treatments and results in improvements in physical functioning, quality of life, and cancer-related fatigue in several cancer survivor groups. Implications for disease outcomes and survival are still unknown. Nevertheless, the benefits to physical functioning and quality of life are sufficient for the recommendation that cancer survivors follow the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, with specific exercise programming adaptations based on disease and treatment-related adverse effects. The advice to "avoid inactivity," even in cancer patients with existing disease or undergoing difficult treatments, is likely helpful.

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