Exercise and physical activity are modifiable behavioral risk factors that could significantly improve quality of life among patients with kidney cancer, according to study findings presented at the 2022 International Kidney Cancer Symposium: North America in Austin, Texas.

In a study of 576 patients who had ever been diagnosed with kidney cancer, Daniel S. Roberson, MD, and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia found that, on multivariable analysis, the 358 patients (62.3%) who reported physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days had significant 59% and 56% reduced odds of reporting worse mental health status and physical status, respectively, compared with the 217 patients (37.7%) who did not.

“Our results highlight the importance of exercise and physical activity as a modifiable risk factor to potentially improve the quality of life of kidney cancer patients and survivors,” the authors concluded in a poster presentation. Additionally, physical activity may mitigate or prevent some of the well-known side effects associated with kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

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The authors acknowledged study limitations, including the biases associated with a retrospective design, an inability to control for all comorbidities, and lack of granularity in terms of disease staging and treatment modality.

“We nonetheless feel as though our results are significant for kidney cancer patients, clinicians who treat and study those patients, and health systems and insurers who provide care,” the authors wrote.


Roberson DS, Alkhatib KY, Pierorazio, PM. The role of exercise on the physical and mental health of kidney cancer patients and survivors. Presented at: 2022 International Kidney Cancer Symposium: North America, November 4-5, Austin, Texas. Abstract 13.

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News