Exercise should be part of any cancer treatment

A group of Australian cancer experts are launching a “world-first” position statement calling for exercise to be prescribed to all cancer patients as part of their routine treatment.
The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) has prepared the Exercise in Cancer Care paper, which states doctors should prescribe particular exercise regimes and refer patients to exercise specialists with experience in cancer care.
The statement has been endorsed by more than 25 health organisations, including the Cancer Council and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and a COSA report on the issue has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
“We’re at a point where the level of evidence is really indisputable and withholding exercise from patients is probably harmful,” said Associate Professor Prue Cormie, who is chair of the COSA report group and lead author of the statement.
“If we could turn the benefits of exercise into a pill it would be demanded by patients, prescribed by every cancer specialist and subsidised by government.
“It would be seen as a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.”
The COSA statement finds most people with cancer don’t meet exercise recommendations, and outlines a level of exercise which would include-
• At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, jogging, cycling, swimming) each week; and,
• Two to three resistance exercise (i.e. lifting weights) sessions each week involving moderate to vigorous-intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre chief medical officer, David Speakman, said the statement was a significant step forward in the treatment of cancer.
“The notion that we must protect a patient, wrap them in cotton wool, is old fashioned and not supported by the research,” he said. “Our attitudes to treating cancer … have to change. All cancer patients will benefit from an exercise prescription.”
To read the full article, go to this page on the ABC News web site – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/cancer-patients-engaging-in-exercise-show-improvement/9733882
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