Exercise training manages cardiopulmonary function and fatigue during and following cancer treatment in male cancer survivors

Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Sep;6(3):235-41. doi: 10.1177/1534735407305871.


This investigation determined the cardiopulmonary function and fatigue alterations in male cancer survivors during treatment as well as following treatment utilizing similar exercise assessment protocols and individualized, prescriptive exercise interventions. The study included 45 male cancer survivors that were referred by local oncologists. Following a comprehensive screening and physical examination, cardiovascular endurance, pulmonary function, and fatigue were assessed leading to the development of 12-week individualized exercise prescriptions and exercise interventions. The cancer survivors were divided into during treatment (DTm) and following treatment (FTm) groups. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and analyses of covariance were used to compare pre- versus postintervention and between groups. Cardiopulmonary function was maintained in the DTm, whereas the FTm showed significant reductions in resting heart rate (P < .05) with concurrent increases in predicted VO2max and time on treadmill ( P < .05) postexercise intervention. Fatigue levels did not increase in the DTm group, whereas the FTm group showed significant reductions in behavioral fatigue, affective fatigue, sensory fatigue, cognitive/mood fatigue, and total fatigue (P < .05) after the exercise intervention. The results of the current study suggest that moderate intensity, individualized, prescriptive exercise intervention maintains or improves cardiovascular and pulmonary function with concomitant reductions in fatigue in cancer survivors during and following cancer treatment. Exercise appears to be a safe, efficacious strategy for improving physical fitness in cancer survivors during and following treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation*
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Health Status
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Survivors*
  • Treatment Outcome