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Muni experts are preparing a unique exercise for leukemia patients

Muni experts are preparing a unique exercise for leukemia patients

On September 7, 2017, a press conference was held at the Faculty of Sports Studies on the topic of patient training after an oncological treatment of leukemia.

Special exercises designed for people with completed oncological treatment are performed by experts from the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University. Since September they have begun with a new group of haematooncological patients and an improved approach involving so-called respiratory training. The aim is to develop a methodology that other oncology centers could use in the future. Brno is the only place in the Czech Republic where patients can exercise under a professional guidance. Due to the health condition of patients and the difficulty of traveling, it would be useful for people to have more opportunities where to attend the program.

Patients with cancer of the blood and blood-forming organs, typically with different types of leukemia, are a very problematic group of patients in terms of rehabilitation and reconditioning. It is due to the illness itself and the treatment that affects a number of body processes. That is why a training program started in 2013 in order to allow patients to return to a physical state loser to the one prior to the illness.

To assemble a group of trainees is not easy. Different forms of leukemia occur less frequently than other forms of cancer. "However, data from small groups of patients and our own pilot results show that a physical training is feasible and safe for haematological patients, and it brings, in addition to mood improvement, an objective increase in physical performance parameters," said Andrea Janíková from the Internal Hematology and Oncology Clinic of the University Hospital Brno , which selects patients for the program.

The positive results of cardio training made the experts from the faculty of sports studies, who are training their patients to continue and expand the program. "We're going to include respiratory training in the program, which could bring more effective management of subsequent cardio training. Patients are unable to start a regular exercise program after treatment. However, respiratory training will prepare them, "says Kateřina Kapounková, head of the Department of Health Support at the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University.

The entire exercise program starts with the patient evaluating their overall physical condition in order to monitor progress, followed by the stage of respiratory training. "We train all of them to work with small devices that are breathed into with a certain resistance and that is how they increase the capacity of their lungs. The patients are getting ready for additional exercise because they improve their blood supply and work of the respiratory muscles and they become overall less tired. Respiratory training is simple after they get used to it, it can be done without special facilities and equipment even with hospitalized patients," explains Kapounková. After this phase, the patient's state is examined once more and the following exercises consist of circular workouts and relaxation exercises.

Attempts to extend the program come at a time when doctors are reminding that treatment of cancer patients does not end with the chemotherapy or other procedures but should be followed by a phase that gets the patient as close to the healthy state as possible.

Special thanks go to the University Sports Center, lecturers Zora Svobodová and Alexandra Malá, who regularly exercise with patients in the gyms of FSpS on Údolní street.