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Lung Cancer Perioperative Rehabilitation Therapies Work

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“lung cancer patients facing a curative surgery may be able to help themselves ensure a better outcome with simple preoperative or pre-operative — care before, during and after surgery”

The “perioperative”  (prehabilitation) therapies discussed in the article below are both effective and common sense. We are not talking about rocket science here. What the article below talks about this is novel is the aspect of lung cancer (LC) pre-habilitation/re-habilitation that is unique- mind-body therapy.

Psychology Today article: How Mindfulness Changes Your Brain by Melanie Greenberg

 It makes sense that a diagnosis of LC and the therapy of surgery causes anxiety and stress. So adding mindfulness as a stress reduction therapy sounds like a beneficial therapy for LC patients.
Further, add prehabilitation or therapies such as nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle therapies shown to help the patient recover faster post surgery.

I am a cancer survivor of a different but equally difficult cancer called multiple myeloma. Surviving an “incurable” cancer since my diagnosis in early 1994 taught me that survivors of cancers such as myeloma and lung cancer must think about their care before and after their initial therapy as much as anything.

By this I mean that pre-habilitation, nutrition, supplementation, mind-body therapies, etc. all work together to help the lung cancer patient truly cure their cancer.

Have you been diagnosed with LC? Are you considering surgery? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Adding Mindfulness: Innovation for an Optimal Preoperative Rehabilitation Before Lung Cancer Resection – 

“Surgical resection appears to be the most effective treatment for early stage non-small cell lung cancer. New research shows that patients with lung cancer facing a curative surgery may be able to help themselves ensure a better outcome with simple perioperative — care before, during and after surgery — rehabilitation techniques, including a slow exercise routine and breathing awareness exercises…

In fact, several recent studies determined that perioperative pulmonary rehabilitation improves ultimate functional capacity and reduces postoperative complications, as well as enhances recovery in operated patients. However, the optimal intervention tailored to patients with lung cancer, either pre- or post-surgery, has yet to be established…

Adding stress reduction to rehabilitation programs is not unique to preoperative rehabilitation; recent reports have indicated its beneficial effects in cardiac rehabilitation. But it is a relatively novel concept for lung surgery rehabilitation...”

Multimodal Prehabilitation for Lung Cancer Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: The study was conducted to determine whether a multimodal prehabilitation program enhances postoperative functional recovery compared with multimodal rehabilitation.

Methods: Patients scheduled for non-small cell lung cancer resection were randomized to 2 groups receiving home-based moderate-intensity exercise, nutritional counseling with whey protein supplementation, and anxiety-reducing strategies for 4 weeks before the operation (PREHAB, n = 52) or 8 weeks after (REHAB, n = 43). Functional capacity (FC) was measured by the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) at baseline, immediately before the operation, and 4 and 8 weeks after operation. All patients were treated according to enhanced recovery pathway guidelines.

Results: There was no difference in FC at any point during the perioperative period between the 2 multimodal programs. By 8 weeks after operation, both groups returned to baseline FC, and a similar proportion of patients (>75%) in both groups had recovered to their baseline.

Conclusions: In patients undergoing surgical resection for lung cancer within the context of an enhanced recovery pathway, multimodal prehabilitation initiated 4 weeks before operation is as effective in recovering FC as multimodal rehabilitation.”

Feasibility of a novel mixed-nutrient supplement in a multimodal prehabilitation intervention for lung cancer patients awaiting surgery: A randomized controlled pilot trial

“Objective: To investigate, in lung cancer patients awaiting elective surgery, the feasibility of delivering a novel four-week multimodal prehabilitation intervention and its effects on preoperative functional capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), compared to standard hospital care.

Methods: Adult patients awaiting elective thoracotomy for lung cancer stages I, II or IIIa, were approached to participate in an open-label, randomized controlled trial of two parallel arms: multimodal prehabilitation combining a mixed-nutrient supplement with structured supervised and home-based exercise training, and relaxation-strategies (Prehab) or standard hospital care (Control). Feasibility was assessed based on recruitment and adherence rates to the intervention and study outcome assessment. Functional capacity, measured by the 6-min walk test (6MWT), and HRQoL were measured at baseline and after four weeks (preoperative).

Results: Within 5 months, 34 patients were enrolled and randomized (2:1) to Prehab (n = 24; median age = 67 years) or Control (n = 10; median age = 69 years); recruitment rate of 58.6%. The study was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adherence to the prescribed intensity of the supervised exercise program was 84.1% (SD 23.1). Self-reported adherence to the home-based exercise program was 88.2% (SD 21) and to the nutritional supplement, 93.2% (SD 14.2). Adherence to patients’ preoperative assessment was 82% and 88% in Prehab and Control, respectively. The mean adjusted difference in 4-week preoperative 6MWT between groups was 37.7 m (95% CI, -6.1 to 81.4), p = 0.089. There were no differences in HRQoL between groups.

Conclusion: Within a preoperative timeframe, it was feasible to deliver this novel multimodal prehabilitation intervention in lung cancer patients awaiting surgery.”



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