Exercise: an integral part of cancer care in children

  • Spreafico F & al.
  • Pediatr Blood Cancer
  • 1 Aug 2019

  • curated by Deepa Koli
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Exercise should be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care.
  • A personalized program under the guidance of an experienced exercise professional should be followed.
  • All stakeholders including clinicians and parents should promote physical activity.

Key highlights

  • Inactivity should be avoided, even in patients undergoing intensive treatment or who have a poor prognosis. Recommendation for ≥150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes vigorous-intensity exercise per week, achieved in 2-5 sessions of 10-60 minutes each.
  • Considerable variation in tumor pathophysiology, therapies, and prognosis call for flexibility in exercise goals and schedule; personalization is necessary.
  • Cancer treatment can result in significant decreases in fitness; any improvement, and even maintenance or fewer negative effects, should be recognized as positive.
  • Experienced professionals should deliver an exercise program to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  • Professional supervision will improve adherence.
  • Clinicians should encourage children to participate in physical activity.
  • Identification and management of consistent exercise contraindications in children and adolescents with cancer are challenging.
  • Benefits of exercise and sports go beyond physical fitness, and benefits to emotional, mental, and social experiences and resilience need to be recognized.
  • Patients, families, health care teams, and all other stakeholders must be made more aware of the advantages of physical activity in cancer care.