Bowel Cancer and Exercise
February is bowel cancer awareness month. Over the past decade, public health campaigns and education programs have improved the detection rates of bowel cancer. Now, as a result, it is known as the third most common cancer among Australians. Research into the role that exercise plays in cancer care is also becoming more important because of to advances in diagnostic and treatment methods.
Exercise in Bowel Cancer Care
In May of last year, The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia released a position statement on exercise in cancer care and they published the statement in the Medical Journal of Australia and their main advice included:
- Exercise should be a part of standard practice in cancer care.
- All members of the multidisciplinary team should promote and reinforce the exercise guidelines to their patients.
- Best practice should include a referral to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist with experience in cancer care.
Research shows strong evidence that physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of bowel cancer. It also shows that cancer patients who exercise often experience fewer and less severe treatment side effects, with a significant decrease in cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Furthermore, research proves that exercise does improve long term survival rates in patients. The exercise also reduces the risk of the cancer returning.
The evidence-based exercise guidelines for cancer care patients are in line with those recommended for the general publ. These guidelines include building up to 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise weekly, as well as two sessions of resistance-based exercise. These exercise programs need to be individualised and must consider the appropriate level at which to commence. This should take into account past and current level of fitness, present symptoms, stage of disease, and planned cancer treatment. Most importantly, this should also consider the specific goals of every patient.
If you would like more information or would like to book in for an individualised assessment, please contact us at Alchemy in Motion.
Blog by Physiotherapist