Older adults recently diagnosed with cancer who received chemotherapy were at significantly higher risk of bone fractures of the pelvis and vertebrae compared with older adults with no history of cancer, according to a new study by researchers at the American Cancer Society. Jonas M. Sokolof, DO, director of oncological rehabilitation at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation, talks to Medscape about the study and how exercise can help older people with cancer reduce the risk of fractures.
Dr. Sokolof says the study adds further support to rehabilitation medicine, the goal of which is to optimize physical function and quality of life throughout the entire span of cancer care.
“There’s movement now to implement exercise early on in the cancer care continuum and get patients on an exercise regimen as they undergo treatment because we know that it works like a medicine,” says Dr. Sokolof, also a clinical associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “We have good randomized controlled data that shows exercise can actually improve cancer-related health outcomes, including osteoporosis and fractures.”
In 2018, Rusk Rehabilitation and NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center launched a specialized and highly collaborative oncology rehabilitation services program to address the complex rehabilitative needs of people during every stage of cancer treatment.
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