A new study led by researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that patients who have undergone surgical removal of lung cancer can tolerate and benefit from exercise programs started just one month after surgery. The study followed 20 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients with stage 1 to stage 111b cancer. Patients participated in 3 hour-long exercise sessions per week, using stationary bikes.
"Previous studies have demonstrated that exercise can benefit cancer survivors but lung cancer patients have been a particularly challenging group, because surgery on the lung was perceived to have a restrictive effect on the amount of exercise a person can do," said Lee Jones, Ph.D., a researcher at Duke and lead investigator on the study. "Our study showed that this population can not only tolerate exercise but that it can lead to improved tolerance for exercise, and better quality of life."
Patients attending the exercise sessions were less fatigued and gained greater aerobic fitness over the course of the study.
Researchers will present their findings June 1, at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. The study was funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.