The New Prescription for Cancer: Exercise

The New Prescription for Cancer: Exercise
The New Prescription for Cancer: Exercise

Oncologists are Suggesting that Exercise Should be Prescribed to All Cancer Patients

Australian oncologists are suggesting that exercise should be prescribed to all cancer patients as a standard part of care, according to a position statement from the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA).

The oncology group maintains that exercise should be “viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse [physical and psychological] effects of cancer and its treatment.”

The guidelines within the statement, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, advise cancer patients to engage in the following activities (based on what their conditions allow):

  1. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise weekly (e.g., walking, jogging, cycling, swimming).
  2. Two to 3 resistance exercise sessions each week involving moderate to vigorous intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups (e.g. weight training).

COSA is calling on all cancer care professionals to discuss working out as a safe and effective supplemental cancer treatment with patients, frequently promote physical activity, instruct patients to adhere to work out guidelines, and refer patients to health professionals who specialize in the delivery of exercise.

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