New Guidelines Encourage Exercise for All Cancer Patients

Standard care for patients with cancer should include exercise, according to a new position statement from the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA). The document, which was published online in the Medical Journal of Australia, urges oncologists to open the dialogue with cancer patients about including physical activity in their treatment schedules.

Physical activity recommendations include:

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

Oncologists also should refer patients to a health-care professional who specializes in the prescription and delivery of exercise (i.e., an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care).

According to the statement from the guideline co-authors, led by Prue Cormie, PhD, from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, exercise should “be viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment.”

Sources: Medscape, May 16, 2018; Cormie P, Atkinson M, Bucci L, et al. Clinical Oncology Society of Australia position statement on exercise in cancer care. Med J Austral. 2018 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]