Exercise for people with cancer: a clinical practice guideline

Exercise in cancer care is an issue that has a lot of traction in our primary care in cancer world right now. This practical guideline from Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC) was designed to provide guidance to cancer care providers about exercise for patients living with cancer. It gives insight into recommendations that could be incorporated in a complementary guideline for Australian patients. These guidelines address: the types of exercise, when to refer and addressing safety concerns. The report reviewed three guidelines, eighteen systematic reviews and 29 randomised controlled trials of which eleven publications were synthesised into and support their guidelines. Six key recommendations were provided: 1. People living with cancer can safely engage in moderate amounts of exercise during and after completion of treatment. 2. Moderate amounts of exercise are recommended to improve quality of life (qol), and muscular and aerobic fitness, of people living with cancer. 3. The recommendations for duration, frequency, and intensity are: ■ A goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise spread over 3–5 days and resistance training at least 2 days per week. ■ Resistance sessions should involve major muscle groups 2–3 days per week. ■ Each session should include a warm-up and cool-down 4. A pre-exercise assessment to evaluate for any effects of disease, treatments, and comorbidities is recommended for all people living with cancer before they start an exercise intervention. 5.Where possible, people living with cancer exercise in a group or supervised setting, because that environment might provide a superior benefit or outcome in qol and muscular and aerobic fitness. 6.Where possible, people living with cancer perform exercise at a moderate intensity (3–6 times the baseline resting state) on an ongoing basis as a part of their lifestyle so that improvements in qol and muscular and aerobic fitness can be maintained for the long term. The goal of providing these guidelines is to give cancer clinicians, exercise consultants and primary care providers an evidence-base to recommend appropriate exercise to their patients. Read the full article here.
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