Exercise therapy as treatment for cardiovascular and oncologic disease after a diagnosis of early-stage cancer.
Advances in early detection and adjuvant therapy have led to dramatic improvements in longevity after a cancer diagnosis. As a result, there are ~13.7 million cancer survivors alive in the United States, with this figure projected to increase to 18 million in 2022. Despite improvements in the 5-year relative survival rates, cancer patients with early-stage disease not only remain at high risk of cancer recurrence but also have sufficient longevity to now be at risk for late effects of adjuvant therapy, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). Against this background, we review here the risk factors common to cancer and CVD as well as the extant evidence supporting the potential efficacy of exercise therapy to modify the risk of cancer-specific and CVD-specific mortality in persons with cancer. We also evaluate evidence from clinical studies investigating the effects of structured exercise therapy to modify risk factors common to cancer and CVD. Findings of this review indicate that several major biomarkers/risk factors are predictive of both recurrence as well as non-cancer mortality in persons diagnosed with cancer. Such information is important to health professionals providing disease-risk screening as well as informing effective management strategies in long-term cancer survivors. In terms of the latter, there is growing but preliminary evidence that exercise may be efficacious in lowering both recurrence and CVD risk in cancer patients.
Scott, JM; Koelwyn, GJ; Hornsby, WE; Khouri, M; Peppercorn, J; Douglas, PS; Jones, LW
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