Reducing Cancer-Related Fatigue

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A new article published online by JAMA Oncology analyzed which of four commonly recommended treatments – exercise, psychological, the combination of both, or pharmaceutical – for cancer-related fatigue appeared to be most effective.

Cancer-related fatigue can reduce a patient’s ability to complete medical treatments and undermine patient quality of life because they are unable to participate in valued life activities.

The article analyzed 113 randomized clinical trials (11,525 participants), with 53 of the studies (46.9 percent) performed among women with breast cancer.

The meta-analysis by Karen M. Mustian, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center and coauthors suggests exercise and psychological interventions, as well as the combination of both, were associated with reduced cancer fatigue during and after cancer treatment. Pharmaceutical interventions were not associated with the same magnitude of improvement in cancer-related fatigue. The authors note more research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of interventions that combine exercise and psychological treatments.

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