Walking can help alleviate fatigue after a cancer operation
Researchers have affirmed that pancreatic cancer patients can literally take a step-by-step approach to combat fatigue. A study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reports that patients who underwent an operation as part of their cancer treatment and then started a regular walking regimen experienced less fatigue than cancer survivors who did not do the walking program.
It is estimated that each year, approximately 50,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic or periampullary cancer. The latter forms near the ampulla of Vater, an enlargement of the ducts from the liver and pancreas where they join and enter the small intestine, according to a definition put forth by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Further, the NCI reports that chronic fatigue affects up to 96 percent of people being treated for cancer. It's so common that "sometimes it's overlooked as normal and people tend to write it off," said the study's lead author Theresa P. Yeo, PhD, MPH, MSN, associate professor of nursing at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing, Philadelphia, and associate director of the Jefferson Pancreas Tumor Registry at the hospital's department of surgery. "But this is not the normal 'I-stayed-up-too-late' fatigue. It's really being exhausted, and it doesn't go away with sleep. It hits patients in their daily activities simple things like doing your personal hygiene in the morning, getting up and getting dressed, going from the bedroom to wherever you eat breakfast." This type of fatigue can also lead to anxiety and depression.
Dr. Yeo and colleagues recruited 102 patients who had undergone surgical resections for pancreatic or periampullary cancer. Most study participants were Caucasian men and women aged 66 or 67 years old with Stage IIA or Stage IIB cancer. The patients also had similar rates and types of chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, but no conditions that could severely limit mobility. The patients were randomized into two groups just before hospital discharge: The usual care group went home with normal discharge instructions that did not include a walking or exercise routine. The intervention group was charged with walking for increasingly longer intervals each week for three months. The first month, for example, included walking sessions for 20 minutes with five minutes to warm up and five minutes to cool down. "But if people could only walk for three minutes, we said start with that and work your way up," Dr. Yeo explained. If patients felt any discomfort or shortness of breath while walking, they were instructed to slow down or stop. The goal was to increase walking time 90 to 150 minutes each week by the end of the three month program.
Patients in the walking intervention group mailed in monthly logs of their walking durations and distances. Each month, researchers followed up with patients in the walking intervention group to ask a set of outlined questions about their medical condition, adherence to the walking program and their current fatigue and pain level, along with other symptoms such as diarrhea, insomnia, or depression.
Researchers contacted all patients after three months for final reports on fatigue level using standardized survey tools. At the beginning of the study, 85 percent of all patients reported moderate to severe fatigue. Three months after discharge, the intervention walking group reported a 27 percent improvement in fatigue, compared with a 19 percent improvement in the usual care group. The intervention walking group also reported greater improvements in experiencing less pain than the usual care group.
"The beauty of this program is that we're not asking for high intensity aerobics or a target heart rate," Dr. Yeo said. "It's low to moderate intensity and they can sit if they need to. They don't have to push through it if they are not feeling well that day." Though the study authors acknowledge that more research is needed, patient discharge instructions have already been changed at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to encourage walking or some form of aerobic activity as patients recover. She added that walking is accessible to everyone, whether they go to a gym, a local mall or just walk around the house several times a day to build stamina.
"The message in pancreatic cancer care has typically been that these patients are just too sick to do this, but that's not true anymore," Dr. Yeo explained. "With increased surgical expertise and the use of postoperative critical care pathways [care maps], more patients are feeling better sooner and going home earlier after their operations. There is no reason that patients can't become active, even if they did not exercise before."
Provided by American College of Surgeons
- Exercise training ups post-transplant functional recovery Mar 17, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Exercise combats cancer-related fatigue Apr 16, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Exercise plus psychological counseling may benefit depressed heart failure patients May 04, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Stretching exercises may reduce risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy May 28, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Walking skills program improves physical function following hip replacement surgery Dec 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
5 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
Current leading voltage or vice versa concept
7 hours ago Hello, I was wondering if there is a conceptual explanation for when current leads voltage or vice versa for capacitors or inductors with AC...
Angular Frequency of AC voltage
10 hours ago Hello, I am wondering, what is the physical interpretation of the angular frequency of AC voltage? I don't see the physicality of what the angle...
Modeling Rigid Body - Unsure about Euler angles and angular velocity
10 hours ago I'm modeling a single 3D rigid body in preparation for some more complicated modeling in order to gain a better understanding of Euler angles, the...
Function for a bullet's path
12 hours ago I've been mulling this over all weekend, and I've decided to get some help on this. The problem is writing a function to describe a bullet's path....
Elementary questions relating to Newton's laws of motion
13 hours ago i) If a wall breaks when it gets hit by a cannonball, did the wall exert an equal and opposite force on the cannonball? ii) Would the force...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Posterior fossa subdural hematoma (PFSDH) is a serious and rare condition in newborns, generally occurring after difficult deliveries. But with appropriate treatment, there's an excellent chance of good long-term outcomes ...
Surgery 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Many women in Texas who are found to have an abnormality on routine mammogram or discover a lump in one of their breasts end up having an old-fashioned surgical biopsy to find out whether the breast abnormality is malignant. ...
Surgery May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—About 65 percent of surgical residents report that they disapprove of the 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program requirements, which place restrictions ...
Surgery May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Metal-on-metal hip implants can cause inflammation of the joint lining (synovitis) long before symptoms appear, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify this inflammation, according to ...
Surgery May 15, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Obese patients who received robotic kidney transplants had fewer wound complications than patients who received traditional "open" transplant surgery, according to surgeons at the University of Illinois Hospital ...
Surgery May 15, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Injections of a sugar solution appear to help relieve knee pain and stiffness related to osteoarthritis, a new study suggests.
26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at the School of Medicine have shown that their previously identified therapeutic approach to fight cancer via immune cells called macrophages also prompts the disease-fighting killer T cells ...
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Obese and overweight men and women who suffer from heartburn often report relief when they lose weight, a new study shows.
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—When it comes to the care of your children's teeth, dentists aren't the only experts who can help.
36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—For patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), prolonged prone positioning during mechanical ventilation is associated with significantly reduced mortality at 28 and 90 days, ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0