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June 2nd, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Go ahead and exercise during cancer treatment

By Madison Park
CNNhealth.com writer/producer

Cancer patients should be physically active during and after treatment, according to new national guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Instead of avoiding exercise, Kathryn Schmitz, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, encouraged about 150 minutes of physical activity each week  for cancer patients.  Activities such as swimming, yoga, strength training can help.

For cancer survivors, yoga may boost energy and aid sleep

Schmitz is scheduled to present exercise guidelines at the 2010 meeting of the group  this week.

Cancer patients often see massive changes in their bodies during treatment. Some suffer loss of appetite and difficulty eating, and shed lots of weight. For these patients, exercise could help maintain lean body mass. Other patients gain weight. Exercise can help control their weight and possibly decrease risks of the cancer returning.

Patients should consult their doctors to get tailored recommendations - for instance, some cancer patients with weakened immune systems should stay away from public gyms, the expert panel advises.

Here's more from the UPenn's release.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Dr Bill Toth

    Glad this is making CNN. Exercise will most likely bring relief to those affected individuals and now that a study has been published perhaps more docs will recommend it.
    Live with Intention,
    DrBillToth.com/blog

    June 2, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. DMmobile87

    I'm trying to figure out who would think that exercise would be a bad thing?? This article seems like a no-brainer to me... If you're feeling well enough to exercise, go for it.

    June 2, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Nancy Bruning

    I'm so glad to see this article. When I wrote "Coping with Chemotherapy" the standard of care was for physicians to advise their patients not to exercise. Thank goodness my oncologist was not one of them. Swimming and yoga were the best for me, with swimming actually making my chemo-cased nausea vanish.

    June 2, 2010 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.