UBC researchers develop 'exercise prescriptions' for cancer survivors
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Megan Devlin, CTV News Vancouver
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:02PM PDT
VANCOUVER - Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed new exercise guidelines to help cancer survivors on their recovery journey.
There's growing evidence that exercise can help cancer survivors, but so far experts have been hazy about what kind of exercise and how much is ideal. Earlier guidelines published nearly a decade ago advised cancer survivors to meet recommendation for the general public of 150 minutes of exercise every week.
That's an amount that "may be difficult for people to achieve during or following cancer treatment," UBC associate professor Kristin Campbell said in a release. She's the lead author on a new study published Wednesday in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
It outlined specific "exercise prescriptions" for cancer patients and survivors, finding they can perform as little as 30 minutes of aerobic and resistance training three times per week and still address common cancer treatment side effects such as anxiety and fatigue.
The new recommendations were based on a review of the growing body of scientific evidence published since the first guidelines were put out in 2010.
In addition to helping cancer survivors recover, exercise can also help prevent it in the first place. Adults who exercise lower their risk of seven types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus and stomach.
"The ultimate goal is to help people with cancer live longer and better lives. With these new guidelines and with continued research, we have a real opportunity to continue expanding the integration of exercise medicine into cancer care," Campbell said.