MPPFG News

Cancer and Exercise Physiology

This 4th February is World Cancer Day, an international initiative by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to increase awareness, education and create an opportunity to acknowledge any individuals, family members and friends that are affected by Cancer.   

Prevention 

Rates of Cancer in Australia are continuing to grow, with over 400,000 Australians currently living with a Cancer diagnosis in the previous 5 years.  At least one third of cancers are preventable through implementing healthy lifestyle choices. This can be done by maintaining a healthy weight, adopting a healthy diet and having a regular exercise regime. Smoking and alcohol consumption are also linked to a number of different cancers, however not all types of cancers are preventable.  

Management 

If you or someone you know is affected by Cancer know that there are many different health services that can be accessed to improve cancer management, during and post treatment. An important health service, Exercise Physiology, has continued to show its importance in Cancer treatment. Evidence of exercises benefit in the management of Cancer treatment has been so strong that in recent years that 2018 the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia stated that “Best practice cancer care to include referral to an accredited exercise physiologist and/or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care” and that exercise should be prescribed to all cancer patients. This is based off of the growing research that shows Exercise reduces the number and severity of symptoms associated with cancer treatment (including pain, fatigue and nausea), improve muscle strength, improve cardio-respiratory fitness, improve physical and immune function, improved mood and self-esteem and overall quality of life.  Evidence also shows that Patients that incorporate exercise into their Cancer management plan have a lower risk of Cancer recurrence and improves survival after diagnosis for breast, colon and prostate cancer.  

However, incorporating exercise into the treatment of cancer requires prescribed care, and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist is a specialist health professional that can prescribe exercise for people living with cancer.  If you are interested in adding specialist exercise care into your Cancer management plan at Melbourne Physiotherapy Group, we are able to offer Exercise Physiology services with our therapist Emily Camenzuli. To book in with Emily you can contact our friendly reception team on (03) 9534 0611 who will be happy to help you or book online via our website.  

For more information about World Cancer Day and the UICC visit https://www.worldcancerday.org

References

Friedenreich CM, Neilson HK, Farris MS, Courneya KS. Physical Activity and Cancer Outcomes: A Precision Medicine Approach. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Oct 1;22(19):4766-4775. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-0067. Epub 2016 Jul 12. PMID: 27407093.

Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. COSA Position Statement on Exercise in Cancer Care. April 2018.

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