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“If exercise was a pill it would be prescribed to every cancer patient”

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia made a world-first policy statement today declaring that exercise should be part of every cancer patient’s treatment plan.

In the journal article published this morning, COSA affirmed exercise as a safe and effective intervention to counteract many of the adverse physical and psychological effects of cancer and its treatment.

In its survey of prior work the team found that exercise had positive impacts before, during, and after treatment, even being shown to reduce mortality and recurrence rates.


  • Avoid inactivity and be as physically active as current abilities and conditions allow
  • Progress towards and, once achieved, maintain participation in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week
  • Two to three resistance exercise sessions each week involving moderate to vigorous intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups

COSA noted that “exercise programming adaptations may be required based on disease- and treatment-related adverse effects, anticipated disease trajectory and the patient’s health status.” They recommend finding an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care to assist with planning your exercise routine.

Find the report and the position paper below.

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