Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101198
  • Adult nursing
  • Systematic review and meta-analysis

Exercise improves fatigue during and after breast and prostate cancer treatment, with benefits seen for aerobic exercise

  1. Theresa Pluth Yeo
  1. Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Theresa Pluth Yeo
    Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 1025 Walnut Street, Suite 605B, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA; Theresa.yeo{at}

Commentary on: Cramp F, Byron-Daniel J. Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012;11:CD006145

Implications for practice and research

  • Encouraging cancer patients to follow a structured exercise programme reduces self-reported fatigue.

  • The optimal exercise programme (aerobic, resistance, mind–body or a combined programme) remains undecided; however, evidence supports regularly participating in an exercise programme either at home or in a formal facility.

  • Longitudinal randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of exercise interventions in cancer patients that include biomarkers of the interacting pathways in cancer-related fatigue, such as the inflammatory, nervous system, metabolic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, are critically needed.


Cramp and Byron-Daniel conducted a systematic review of studies addressing the important issue of exercise and its therapeutic benefit in reducing cancer-related fatigue (CRF) both during and after cancer treatment. Fatigue is a commonly reported symptom among newly diagnosed cancer patients (70–100%), those undergoing treatment and even long-term survivors. CRF is influenced by tumour factors, muscle …

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