Exercise as part of cancer treatment

By Monique Tello, MD, MPH – Harvard Health Publishing Contributor

In a first, a national cancer organization has issued formal guidelines recommending exercise as part of cancer treatment, for all cancer patients. The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) is very clear on the directive. Its recommendations are:

  • Exercise should be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care and viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment.
  • All members of the multi-disciplinary cancer team should promote physical activity and help their patients adhere to exercise guidelines.
  • Best practice cancer care should include referral to an accredited exercise physiologist and/or physical therapist with experience in cancer care.

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