According to a study published April 16, 2008, regular exercise is the best way to manage cancer-related fatigue!

Fatigue is a common problem for men with prostate cancer. It is also a common side effect of all the available prostate cancer treatments, both primary and secondary treatments. The most common advice we receive for coping with it is to rest when you feel tired. According to this study regular exercise, not regular naps, may be a more effective way to cope with prostate cancer-related fatigue,

The study was an analysis of 28 different studies investigating exercise and cancer-related fatigue. It included more than 2,000 patients suffering from different cancers (not just prostate).

The exercise programs spanned a time period between three weeks and eight weeks with most lasting three months. The most common exercise was walking or stationary bike riding, but the length, type and intensity of exercise varied across the studies.

The meta-analysis found that regular exercise managed fatigue better than the standard “rest when tired” advice. Although further studies are needed to identify the specific type of exercise and the frequency, oncologists should recommended at least a walk 30 minutes a day three to five times a week.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW