Oral Presentation Joint 2016 COSA and ANZBCTG Annual Scientific Meeting

Exercise for the management of fatigue  (#15)

Carolina Sandler 1
  1. University of New South Wales / National Centre for Cancer Survivorship, UNSW, NSW, Australia

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects reported by people with cancer and the majority of patients will experience this symptom at some stage during the course of their illness or treatment.  People experiencing cancer-related fatigue may complain of physical fatigue which they might describe as a sensation of weakness or heaviness in their limbs, and also mental fatigue where they may report difficulty performing cognitive tasks. Cancer-related fatigue can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, function, and their ability to perform activities of daily living. When cancer-related fatigue persists beyond the primary treatment period and is unexplained by alternative medical or psychiatric conditions, it is termed post-cancer fatigue. Exercise can help to restore physical fitness and reduce reports of fatigue at different stages throughout the cancer continuum. Other influencing factors which will vary along the continuum, such as medication, the patient’s response to treatment or disturbed sleep, may also contribute to fatigue. Exercise interventions will need to be tailored accordingly around these issues. This presentation will provide an overview of the evidence for exercise as a management strategy for fatigue experienced shortly after treatment,  as well as in patients with persistent fatigue after treatment.  The results of a randomised control trial aimed specifically at reducing post-cancer fatigue will also be presented.