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Cardiovascular fitness not affected by cancer treatment
Date:5/28/2009

Washington, DC The cardiovascular fitness level of cancer survivors is not affected by many standard cancer therapies, say researchers from Georgetown University Medical Cancer. That is the finding of a new observational study to be presented today at the American College of Sports Medicine in Seattle.

"We know physical activity is a critical component of cancer survivorship, both during and after cancer treatment," says Jennifer LeMoine, PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow with training in exercise physiology at GUMC's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "In order to prescribe an exercise program, it's critical that we understand our patient's fitness level and whether or not treatment has had an impact on their cardiovascular health."

For the study, the researchers conducted a chart review of 49 women who attended a physician-directed fitness clinic for cancer survivors, founded and run by Priscilla Furth, MD, the study's co-author. The data included demographics, physical activity levels and cancer treatment type, duration and time since their treatment. Fitness assessments were conducted using a three-minute step test during a clinic visit. The purpose of the study was to access the step test as a way of determining a patient's current cardiovascular fitness level.

LeMoine says, "Often, what people think they are physically capable of doing and what they can actually do are two very different things. Many have a better fitness level than they expect while some find they're not as fit as they thought. The step-test gives us a better idea of their exercise tolerance and cardiovascular-fitness."

All the patients in the study were women and were diverse by age and body mass index. Their cancer diagnoses and treatments varied. Overall, 33 percent of the survivors were sedentary and 67 percent reported being physically active. Thirty-five (71 percent) of the participants completed the step test. Test completion a
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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