(HealthDay News) — Exercise should be prescribed for cancer survivors, according to recommendations published in the November issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and an article published online Oct. 16 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Kristin L. Campbell, P.T., Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues sought to advance exercise recommendations beyond public health guidelines and toward prescriptive programs to specific cancer type, treatments, and/or outcomes.

The authors retained the conclusions that exercise training and testing were generally safe for cancer survivors and survivors should avoid inactivity. Enough evidence was available to conclude that common cancer-related health outcomes, including anxiety, depressive symptoms, fatigue, physical functioning, and health-related quality of life, could be improved with specific doses of aerobic, combined aerobic plus resistance training, and/or resistance training. For most outcomes, about 30 minutes of exercise was recommended three times per week. There was uncertainty in terms of implications for other outcomes, including peripheral neuropathy and cognitive functioning.

In the article, Kathryn H. Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H, from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues propose that clinicians should assess, advise, and refer patients to home- or community-based exercise or for further evaluation and intervention in outpatient rehabilitation. Care coordination with appropriate professionals will be needed to do so, as well as behavior changes by clinicians, patients, and professionals who deliver rehabilitation and exercise programming. Key stakeholders should be encouraged to create the infrastructure and cultural adaptations needed so that people living with and beyond cancer can be as active as possible.

Several authors from the Schmitz study disclosed financial ties to the medical consulting industry.

Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors

Abstract/Full Text – Schmitz Article