Improving outcomes in lung cancer: implementation of physical activity guidelines
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia. In comparison to other cancer types, individuals with lung cancer have poorer prognosis, higher disease burden, more physical hardship and significant unmet needs. Lung cancer is associated with complex symptoms, including fatigue and breathlessness, which frequently lead to a vicious cycle of inactivity and functional decline. There is an urgent need for improved models of care and hence outcomes for this vulnerable population.
Physical inactivity is a global pandemic. There are strong well-established evidence-based guidelines regarding the amount of physical activity (PA) people with cancer should engage in. Guidelines state that individuals with cancer should engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity PA on five or more days of the week. These guidelines are supported by a strong evidence base demonstrating that increased levels of PA in cancer are associated with improved function, fitness, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and lower levels of symptoms and depression. In breast and colon cancer, increased PA is also associated with improved survival.
Despite the PA guidelines and supportive evidence, the current models of care in lung cancer are deficient, in that a) there are no formal procedures in place for clinicians to promote and utilize these guidelines and b) the majority of people with lung cancer in Australia are not meeting the PA guidelines. As such, there is a gap between evidence-based clinical guidelines for lung cancer and the current clinical practice.
This project aims to bridge this evidence-practice gap with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for people with lung cancer.
- Cancer Australia