Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

The effect of exercise on fatigue associated with cancer

Cramp F, Byron-Daniel J
Published Online: 
14 November 2012

Fatigue, or tiredness, is recognised as a side effect of cancer and its treatment. In the past people with cancer were encouraged to rest if they felt fatigued. It is important that individuals with cancer receive appropriate support and advice to help them cope with any side effects of the treatment or disease. Physical exercise has been suggested as helpful in reducing the fatigue that is associated with cancer. A number of studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of exercise both during and after treatment. The current review was carried out to evaluate the effect of physical exercise on fatigue related to cancer. Fifty-six studies, involving a total of 4068 participants, were included in this review. Results suggest that physical exercise such as aerobic walking and aerobic cycling can help to reduce fatigue both during and after treatment for cancer. The benefits of exercise on fatigue were observed specifically for people with breast cancer and prostate cancer.

This record should be cited as: 
Cramp F, Byron-Daniel J. Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006145. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006145.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
19 April 2012