Physical Activity and Quality of Life of Cancer Survivors: A Lack of Focus for Lifestyle Redesign


Background: Physical activity is a component of lifestyle activity and one that has been increasingly seen as‘the medicine’ to cure chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer. Physical activity has potent impact onmortality but only if it is well incorporated as lifestyle activity may it allow a better outcome of the quality of lifeof cancer survivors. This paper presents a review on the evidence of physical activity being actively promoted aslifestyle activity amongst cancer survivors, for the last five years. Materials and
Methods: Electronic databaseswere systematically searched for randomized controlled trials incorporated as lifestyle activity through MEDLINEwith the associated terms “physical activity or exercise”, “quality of life” and “cancer survivor or people withcancer”, ‘lifestyle’ and ‘randomised controlled trial’. The period of search was confined to publication withinJanuary 2008 till December 2012 and further limits were to full text, peer reviewed, abstract available andEnglish language.
Results: Based on inclusion criteria, 45 articles were retrieved. Of these, 41 were excludedafter examining the full paper. Four final articles on randomized controlled trials were studied to determine theeffectiveness of PA to improve the quality of life in post treatment cancer survivors and positive associations werefound.
Conclusions: Physical activity is related to better quality of life of cancer survivors. Only one paper hadcharacteristics of lifestyle incorporation for a lifestyle redesign, but none overtly or actively promoting exerciseinterventions as an essential lifestyle activity. With increasing survivorship, the benefits of physical activity mustbe aggressively and overtly promoted to optimize its positive impact.