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To Best Fight Cancer, New Guidelines Urge Exercise
Date:11/6/2010

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- People undergoing cancer treatment traditionally have been told to rest as much as possible and avoid exertion, to save all their strength to battle the dreaded disease.

But a growing number of physicians and researchers now say that people who remain physically active as best they can during treatment are more likely to beat cancer.

The positive evidence for exercise during and after cancer treatment has piled so high that an American College of Sports Medicine panel is revising the group's national guidelines regarding exercise recommended for cancer survivors.

The panel's conclusion: Cancer patients and survivors should strive to get the same amount of exercise recommended for everyone else, about 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Resistance training and stretching also are recommended.

"Exercise is so important for cancer patients, but so many doctors and health professionals are concerned about safety issues -- is it safe for people undergoing treatment to exercise?" said Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity at the American Cancer Society. "And this group has decided that yes, it is. These guidelines really help lay some of those issues to rest. This clearly delineates that it is safe and it is feasible and we should be recommending exercise for cancer patients."

The new guidelines stand as an important sea change in cancer treatment, said Kathryn Schmitz, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a researcher at the university's Abramson Cancer Center, who presented the guidelines at a meeting this past summer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"The exercise guidelines for all Americans stand for cancer patients undergoing treatment," Schmitz said. "This is a landmark statement because the
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