Exercise Advised for Cancer Patients

CHICAGO, June 2 (UPI) — Some U.S. physicians say cancer exercise rehabilitation programs should be as common as cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Kathryn Schmitz of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine led a 13-member American College of Sports Medicine expert panel that developed the new cancer exercise guidelines after reviewing and evaluating the safety and efficacy of exercise during and after cancer treatment.


“There is a still a prevailing attitude out there that patients shouldn’t push themselves during treatment, but our message — avoid inactivity — is essential,” Schmitz said in a statement.

“We now have a compelling body of high-quality evidence that exercise during and after treatment is safe and beneficial for these patients, even those undergoing complex procedures such as stem cell transplants.”

Cancer patients and survivors should try to get the same 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly — swimming to yoga to strength training — the same as recommended for the general public, the panel said.

Schmitz said oncologists need to be informed about the new guidelines and she said she hoped patients will read the recommendations and discuss them with their doctors, creating a demand for change.

The guidelines are scheduled to be presented at the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

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