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Friday - May 19, 2017 1:33 am

Gundersen study finds cancer patients want exercise routine from their doctors

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Patients were referred to experts in that field but felt more comfort with their docs.

Exercise is good. And we're learning it's especially good for cancer patients.

Numerous studies indicate that.

Doctors know it, and those patients want to learn about it. The go-between is the problem, according to a Gundersen Health System study co-authored by Dr. Kurt Oettel.

"Patients really wanted to hear about exercise," Oettel said. "They wanted their doctors to tell them. From the doctor's side, although the doctors all said, 'Yes, we know that exercise is important. We are not sure what the correct exercise is.'"

It revealed oncologists have not advised patients on how exercise might help them. The oncologists, however, weren't telling their patients not to exercise. They were referring them to experts in that field.

"We know that patients who exercise more, have a lower chance of cancer coming back," Oettel said. "But, we also know that patients who exercise regularly, have less side-effects of the treatment that they're going through."

Patients, however, felt more comfortable getting that information from the doctor they had built a relationship with.

The study is titled Are We on the Same Page? Patient and Provider Perceptions About Exercise in Cancer Care: A Focus Group Study.

"We looked at patients who had early-stage cancer and we looked at patients who had late-stage cancer - cancer that's not necessarily curable," Oettel said of the study that finished nine months ago. 



Rick Solem

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