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Exercise Shown to Benefit All Cancer Patients

Physical therapist Nicole Dugan, DPT, CLT, helps breast cancer survivor Brenda Laigaie with her strength-training exercises which keep the lymphedema in her arm under control. The PAL study proved the benefits of exercise both during and after breast cancer treatment but, according to new national guidelines, all cancer patients should find ways to be physically active. Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, led a 13-member panel of experts from the American College of Sports Medicine that developed these new recommendations after reviewing and evaluating literature on the safety and efficacy of exercise training during and after cancer therapy. "We now have a compelling body of high-quality evidence that exercise during and after treatment is safe -- and beneficial -- for these patients."

Schmitz presented these guidelines at a recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the world's leading professional organization representing physicians of all oncology subspecialties who care for people with cancer. 

“We have to get doctors past the ideas that exercise is harmful to their cancer patients, “she said.  “Our message – avoid inactivity – is essential.”

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