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If Exercise Were A Cancer Drug, It Would Be A Blockbuster

If exercise were a cancer drug, it would be a blockbuster, appears to be the conclusion of a new review on the benefits of physical activity to people surviving and living beyond cancer. In a report released today, 8 August, the leading UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support, firmly sweeps aside the tradition that cancer patients should “rest up” and “take it easy”, and urges doctors and nurses to prescribe physical activity to patients “at all stages of cancer from initial diagnosis through to the later stages”. However, despite the emergence of this evidence, many health professionals are failing to tell their cancer patients about the benefits of exercise, they added.

Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, told the press that the evidence in the report, whose short title is “Move More”, shows how important physical activity is to recovery from cancer, yet “very little attention to its benefits is given by health professionals or by those commissioning health services”.

He urged that services to promote and offer exercise should not only be available, but that they should be “prescribed” to cancer patients.

Devane said cancer patients would be “shocked” if they knew how much physical activity could help their recovery and long term health, in some cases even reducing the chance of having to undergo repeat treatment…

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