Exercise helps lymphoma patients

Oct. 30, 2009 at 1:30 AM
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EDMONTON, Alberta, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Canadian researchers say aerobic exercise benefits lymphoma patients -- even those on chemotherapy.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, finds lymphoma patients who received exercise intervention reported significantly improved physical functioning, overall improved quality of life, less fatigue, increased happiness, less depression and an improvement in lean body mass.

Study leader Kerry Courneya of the University of Alberta in Edmonton says the vigorous exercise program did not interfere with patients' ability to complete or benefit from their chemotherapy.

The study found 46.4 percent of patients in the exercise group had a complete response to treatment -- no evidence of disease -- compared with 30.8 percent in the usual care group.

The three-year trial recruited 122 patients with Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma randomly assigned to usual care without exercise or care with an exercise program -- three time a week training for 12 weeks to maximize cardiovascular fitness that included several motivators to continue exercising such as free parking at the gym and staff phone follow-up.

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