Tracking steps in oncology: The time is now

Juhi M. Purswani, Nitin Ohri, Colin Champ

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Accurate evaluation of patients’ health status is a key component of the workup, treatment, and follow-up of cancer patients. Assessments by clinicians (eg, performance status, toxicity grade) and patients (eg, quality of life) play a critical role in current practice but have significant limitations. Technological advances now provide an opportunity to track a new class of objective measures of patient activity, such as daily step counts. Here, we describe recent efforts to incorporate this technology into the field of oncology. Design: We conducted a structured literature search using MEDLINE electronic database to identify published observational studies of tracking steps in cancer patients and trials of exercise programs for cancer survivors incorporating pedometers until February 2016. Results: Data indicate that physical activity information may supplant existing scales for the assessment of cancer patients’ functional capacity. Conclusion: Objective activity monitoring is poised to revolutionize the way health care providers assess cancer patients at the time of diagnosis, during treatment, and in the survivorship setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2439-2447
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Management and Research
StatePublished - 2018


  • Cancer
  • Fitness trackers
  • Pedometers
  • Performance status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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