ABSTRACT

While the field of exercise oncology has substantially progressed in recent years, a significant void exists in the inclusion of and focus on minority patients diagnosed with cancer, particularly blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics are less physically active, experience higher rates of comorbid conditions, and have poorer cancer prognosis when compared to white counterparts. Exercise prevents and reduces an array of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and risk of certain cancers. However, black and Hispanic cancer survivors are underrepresented across exercise intervention trials. In this review, we discuss previous explorations among minority cancer survivors with a focus on exercise prescription, targeted outcomes, patient demographics, and barriers to exercise. We also discuss knowledge gaps and future directions necessary to progress the field of exercise oncology to include a more diverse cancer survivor cohort. In brief, we found few studies have evaluated the effect of exercise on physiologic health outcomes in black and Hispanic cancer survivors, with much research focused on psychosocial health. A majority of minority population-based research specifically targets the black breast cancer survivor population, with reported exercise-induced improvements observed in weekly physical activity, cardiorespira-tory fitness, muscle strength, quality of life, and fatigue. Minority cancer survivors also face unique challenges and barriers to exercise participation despite acknowledgement of the benefits with physical activity. Future investigations warrant explorations of exercise timing across the cancer continuum, inclusion of different types of cancer survivors, and novel exercise strategies with inclusion of culturally tailored educational and behavioral components.

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