Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and may help pancreatic cancer patients gain physical strength to help them better tolerate treatment. However, cancer can lead to loss of energy, which can make it difficult to exercise. It’s important to find the balance and determine what is appropriate for each individual. Research indicates that physical activity may have beneficial effects on several aspects of cancer survivorship, including weight gain, quality of life, cancer recurrence or progression, and prognosis.
According to the results of a trial implemented by GERCOR in France on physical activities in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APACaP), physical activity may be beneficial for cancer patients during and after treatment, by reducing disease or treatment-related symptoms (fatigue, anxiety/depression, pain) and improving physical fitness and muscle mass and strength.
The benefit of physical activity (PA) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (aPDAC) was evident. Significant improvements have been measured in cognitive functioning, social functioning, appetite loss, emotional functioning insomnia, constipation, and pain.
A recent study published on 2 June 2022 in Cancer Cell finds that aerobic exercise reprograms the immune system to reduce pancreatic tumour growth and amplify the effects of immunotherapy.
Following these recent findings, PCE intends to foster among patients, carers, patients’ organisations, health care practitioners and other stakeholders the importance of physical activities for pancreatic cancer patients.
Aims and objectives of the project:
The general aim of the project is to make physical activities central to the care of pancreatic cancer patients.
- To raise awareness on appropriate physical activities for pancreatic cancer patients;
- To communicate the importance of physical activities to boost the quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients;
- To support the implementation of physical activities for pancreatic cancer patients;
- To foster knowledge on physical activities for supporting pancreatic cancer treatment.
Awareness campaign on social media: it will help to spread information about appropriate physical activities for pancreatic cancer patients.
Educational support to patient organisations on physical activities and pancreatic cancer: it will provide member patient organisations with basic information about physical activities, with a participatory approach and a preparatory step for the campaign, so to improve its impact at the local level.