Non-Drug Therapies Found Best for Managing Cancer Fatigue
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 02:31 PM

News bite:  Exercise and psychological interventions, or a combination of the two, improved cancer-related fatigue (CRF) during and after primary treatment, whereas pharmaceutical interventions did not.


Exercise and psychological interventions, or a combination of the two, improved cancer-related fatigue (CRF) during and after primary treatment, whereas pharmaceutical interventions did not. Behavioral therapies were significantly better than drugs for improving cancer-related fatigue during and after treatment, and should be prescribed as first-line treatments, according to a meta-analysis.

The results also suggested that exercise and psychological intervention may be more effective at different stages of treatment, the author noted. For example, exercise may be most effective during primary treatment while psychological intervention alone or in combination with exercise may work best once primary treatment has ended.

Cancer-related fatigue can persist for years, often compounded by other disease-related adverse effects such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and pain, the researchers noted.

Study authors looked at 113 unique studies published from Jan. 1, 1999 to May 31, 2016. There has been evidence that exercise reduces cancer-related fatigue, but this rigorous meta-analysis of all high-quality papers on the topic confirms those previous findings. However, motivating exhausted patients to exercise, even with the knowledge that it may relieve treatment-related symptoms could prove difficult.  For that, clinicians need to also believe that these interventions are more effective than medications. This meta-analysis provides that evidence.


Source: https://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/OtherCancers/64215