Preoperative Exercise and Postoperative Wellness for Patients With Lung Cancer
In a study investigating the efficacy of preoperative exercise for patients undergoing oncologic surgery across six different cancer types, patients with lung cancer were shown to reap the most benefits in terms of postoperative wellness, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. However, the effectiveness of such exercise was considered inconclusive in patients with other types of cancer, including colon, liver, esophageal, oral, and prostate due to the limited number of trials and the low quality of evidence focusing on these other malignancies.
Daniel Steffens, PhD, of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues compiled data from 13 different controlled trials involving more than 800 patients overall and roughly 300 patients with lung cancer alone. They found that preoperative exercise compared with a control intervention in patients undergoing lung cancer surgery reduced the postoperative complication rates by 48% and the length of hospital stay by almost 3 days.
“We found moderate-quality evidence that preoperative pulmonary rehabilitation was effective in reducing postoperative complications and length of hospital stay in patients undergoing lung cancer surgery,” noted the authors.
Most of the preoperative exercises in the included trials incorporated both aerobic (eg, walking) and respiratory muscle training exercises (eg, breathing exercises). They were performed for 1 to 2 weeks preoperatively. The frequency of the exercises varied from three times a week to three sessions daily.