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The aim of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of physical exercise in managing fatigue during radiotherapy for prostate cancer patients. It explores the impact of various physical exercise regimes and their role in the prevention and management of fatigue to help inform best practice.
A literature search was conducted on OVID Medline database with a follow-up search on google scholar to include relevant references found during the initial search. Relevant systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) arising from this search were reviewed.
There is evidence to support the notion that physical exercise in all its forms is an effective and safe intervention for fatigue management for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Although widely studied, there is limited evidence of fatigue management strategies being clearly implemented into current radiotherapy practice for patients with prostate cancer. This information is essential to enable therapeutic radiographers to educate prostate cancer patients regarding effective exercise strategies and ensure that fatigue is managed optimally.
Further research is required into the optimum physical exercise prescription to reduce radiation-induced fatigue, and standardised best practice guidelines should be developed nationally. A future move toward patient education into physical exercise and wellbeing should be a central component of the therapeutic radiographer role with specialist advice offered by review radiographers, empowering patients to become more physically active during treatment. Therapeutic radiographers have a unique opportunity to educate and promote physical exercise through a holistic wellbeing approach that aims to mitigate fatigue and improve quality of life.
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