Now research revealed that exercise helps people battling the fatigue caused by cancer and by its treatment — and usually does it better than drugs do. Karen Mustian of the University of Rochester Medical Centre and colleagues looked through all the studies they could find on the various ways to help cancer patients get their energy back. Exercise was the clear winner, they reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Oncology. “If a cancer patient is having trouble with fatigue, rather than looking for extra cups of coffee, a nap, or a pharmaceutical solution, consider a 15-minute walk,” Mustian said.
Counselling can help, too, but drugs should be the last option, her team’s review showed. They looked at studies that covered 11,000 cancer survivors, including men and women of all ages. About half involved women with breast cancer.