A recent study seems to indicate that walking may improve the life of lung cancer patients as it could help with both their sleep and quality of life.
The study was carried out by a team of Taiwan researchers led by senior author and Taipei Medical University nursing professor, Chia-Chin Lin. Their results were published in the British journal of Cancer.
The research was carried out with the help of a number of 111 lung cancer patients with ages in between their late 30s and their early 80s.
Almost two-thirds of the randomized study trial suffer from stage lung cancer. The randomized study divided the subjects into two random groups.
The first, which included 56 patients, was advised to take moderate intensity walks some three times a week for about 40 minutes at a time.
The second group, which included 55 patients, were treated with the usual medical care and, at the study’s end, were offered exercise counseling should they wish for it.
As the second group was offered post-study exercise counseling, the first group were offered weekly such meetings during the study.
They were also asked to keep a record of their exercise session times and to wear wrist monitors. This last device helped collect objective sleep data including the total hours, its starting time and quality.
With the study spanning over a 12 weeks time, the results seem to suggest that the home-based walking program participants had a better sleep.
Further data showed the same results even three and six months after the finish of the study.
As such, researchers seek to demonstrate that walking may actually improve the life of lung cancer patients. Their findings seem to confirm similar tests carried out for colorectal and breast cancer patients.
The study lead, Lin, and the team of scientists are not at their first such study, but this is the first to test long term effects.
Previous walking programs and additional results were gathered for a period of just 30 or maybe 90 days after the respective study.
According to Lin, walking and its effects on the life of lung cancer patients are not traditionally studied because of a series of concerns.
These include, amongst others, the patients’ fragility and their possibly limited cardiopulmonary function.
Still, studies such as this one may help prove that walking does, in fact, have a positive effect on the quality of life and sleep of the lung cancer patients.
As cancer treatments in general are advancing, Lin also pointed out the importance and beneficial effects of symptom improvement alternatives.
According to her, any alternative which might improve the quality of life or the circadian rhythms should be taken into consideration and utilized.
The circadian rhythms are more commonly known as the body’s internal clock system which determines the waking and sleeping periods.
The current study established that the patients with the most disrupted circadian rhythms were the biggest beneficiaries of the walking therapy.
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