The Independent Effects of Strength Training in Cancer Survivors: a Systematic Review

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Travis Anderson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Cancer treatment is associated with adverse changes in strength, body composition, physical function, and quality of life. Exercise training reduces cancer incidence and mortality rates and may offset some of the treatment-related effects. To determine the independent effects of strength training (ST) on the effects of cancer treatment, an initial search was performed in March and then updated in November 2015. Additional articles were identified by scanning references from relevant articles. Studies using traditional ST on strength, body composition, aerobic capacity, functional assessments, and psychosocial parameters were included. Excluded studies had no objective strength measurement or combined ST with additional exercise. Mean and standard deviations from 39 studies across seven cancer types were extracted for main outcomes. ST-induced change scores with 95 % confidence intervals were calculated and were evaluated with paired t tests, where appropriate. Twenty to fifty percent improvements in maximal strength were observed, indicating that the ST programs were effective. Physical function was also enhanced (7–38 %), although gains were less consistent. Body composition and psychosocial changes were rare, with only a few changes in selected cancer types. As such, ST appears to promote benefits that may be specific to cancer types. Strength was the only consistent outcome that improved in all cancer survivors. However, these gains in strength are still of tremendous importance, given its impact on functionality and quality of life. Several practical considerations for exercise testing, training, and data reporting are presented for consideration to improve the overall depth of the field.

Additional Information

Current Oncology Reports
Language: English
Date: 2016
Resistance training, Cancer, Exercise, Strength, Body composition, Quality of life

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