‘World-first’ call for exercise to be prescribed to all Australian cancer patients


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.

“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, including:

  • 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.

See ABC News


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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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