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Cancer Patients Should Be Exercising, New Guidelines Say

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By    |   Wednesday, 16 May 2018 01:20 PM

Cancer patients should be exercising to counteract the adverse physical and psychological effects of the disease and its treatment, say new study-based guidelines on standard care, Medscape reported.

The study in the Medical Journal of Australia and the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia said clinical research established that exercise is a safe and effective intervention for cancer patients.

Medscape said the Australian guidelines call for cancer patients to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week. They also should do two to three resistance exercise sessions each week involving moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups.

American cancer care providers agree.

"Both Australia and the (United Kingdom) now 'prescribe' exercise as a part of standard cancer care because the data are very strong that exercise can help manage the toxicities and adverse effects of cancer therapy, be that fatigue or depression or many other problems," Dr. Catherine Alfano, vice president of survivorship at the American Cancer Society, told Medscape.

"We are working toward a statement like this in the U.S., but we haven't created a message this strong yet," Alfaro said.

The American Cancer Society points to various benefits from exercising, which includes improving balance and lowering the risk of falls and broken bones, keeping muscles from wasting due to inactivity, lowering the risk of heart disease, lessening the risk of osteoporosis, and improving blood flow to your legs and lower the risk of blood clots.

The U.S. society added that other benefits include improving self-esteem, lowering the risk of being anxious and depressed, lessening nausea, improving the ability to keep social contacts, and lessening symptoms of fatigue.

The Australian oncology society said all health professionals involved in the care of people with cancer should integrating exercise into routine cancer care.

The study said exercise should be viewed by health professionals as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment. The guidelines encourage all members of the multidisciplinary cancer team to promote physical activity and recommend that people with cancer adhere to exercise guidelines.

The guidelines also call for the best practice cancer care to include referral to an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care.

In the Medical Journal of Australia, COSA also encouraged all health professionals to discuss the role of exercise in cancer recovery to patients; recommend that their patients adhere to exercise guidelines; and refer their patients to a health professional who specializes in the prescription and delivery of exercise.

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Cancer patients should be exercising to counteract the adverse physical and psychological effects of the disease and its treatment, say new study-based guidelines on standard care.
cancer, patient, exercise, guidelines
424
2018-20-16
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 01:20 PM
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