Prehabilitation for individuals having lung cancer surgery
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2022-10-07. This item is currently available to University of Melbourne staff and students only, login required.
© 2020 Anna Shukla
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in males and the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in females in Australia. It is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality, being responsible for more deaths than breast, colorectal and prostate cancer combined. Pulmonary resection provides the best chance of a cure for patients with early stage lung cancer. However, pulmonary resection is associated with significant impairment in functional capacity along with a moderate risk of postoperative morbidity, particularly in frail or deconditioned patients. Prehabilitation is defined as “a process on the continuum of care that occurs between the time of cancer diagnosis and the beginning of acute treatment that, in the perioperative setting, aims to enhance functional capacity of the individuals to enable them to withstand the stress associated with a procedure”. Prehabilitation can include a care bundle incorporating smoking cessation, diet optimization, psychosocial support and exercise, and aims to identify impairments and deliver targeted interventions that improve patient outcomes. It provides an opportunity to decrease treatment-related morbidity, increase available treatment options for patients who would not otherwise be surgical candidates and facilitate return of patients to the highest possible functional level. There is a growing body of evidence that supports prehabilitation as a means of preparing patients with newly diagnosed cancer for surgery by optimizing their health preoperatively. Enhancing a patient’s preoperative condition may help them withstand the stressors of surgery. Evidence supports the implementation of prehabilitation in the preoperative care pathway of other cancer cohorts, for example colorectal, breast and prostate cancers. Unfortunately, the evidence for the effects of prehabilitation in lung cancer has lagged behind and the use of prehabilitation (specifically the exercise component) for patients with lung cancer is now an emerging area. To date, exercise prior to lung cancer surgery has been shown to be safe and associated with improvements in functional capacity as well as postoperative morbidity (hospital length of stay) and rates of postoperative pulmonary complications), however the feasibility and acceptability of prehabilitation for patients with lung cancer is still unclear. The two studies within this thesis focus on the exercise component of prehabilitation in the context of surgical management of lung cancer in Australia.
KeywordsPrehabilitation; Pre-operative exercise; Lung cancer; Physiotherapy
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