Dr Judith Lacey, head of supportive care and integrative oncology, was interviewed by the BBC World Service in London about a pilot study where patients receiving chemotherapy engage in gentle exercise. The pilot aimed to demonstrate that this practice was safe and that further study was feasible. The hope is by improving blood flow to the tumour, we improve delivery of chemotherapy to the site. We may even see better outcomes such as response to chemotherapy and improved survival.
We know that exercise can greatly benefit cancer patients which is why we recommend exercise from the very start when a patient is diagnosed and continuing on through their treatment. Exercise has been shown to be particularly effective in treating fatigue which is a common side effect of chemotherapy, but can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression.