Cancer patients to be put on fitness programmes within 48 hours of being diagnosed
Doctors want people to sign-up to “prehab” to reduce the side effects of treatment and the amount of time spent in hospital. Cancer patients will be encouraged to do three fitness sessions a week Cancer patients will be enrolled in gym sessions before they can start chemotherapy to help their odds of survival. Within 48 hours of being diagnosed, patients are being encouraged to sign up to a “prehab” regime of three fitness sessions a week on the NHS.
High intensity cardio workouts and strength-based training will be accompanied by nutritional advice and mental health support. Doctors said by being fit, the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and the amount of time spent in hospital can be reduced. “Cancer treatments now work better than ever, but they can really take a toll on your body,” NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said. “So there’s increasing evidence that it’s really worth trying to get match fit ahead of chemo or major surgery.
“In effect you are ‘priming’ your own recovery before your treatment even begins.” More than 500 people in Greater Manchester are currently participating in the programme and more than 2,000 are expected to take part over the next two years. Yorkshire, Leicester and London are also running similar services. David Fowles, who entered the “prehab” programme this year, credited it with cutting down his recovery time. “If someone had told me in February that I would be going to the gym, I’d have laughed at them,” the 68-year-old retiree said.
“My consultant asked if I would like to give it a go, explaining the idea that if you’re fit before surgery, it will get you out of hospital quicker, so I said yes. “The surgery was quite daunting and took 10.5 hours. I was told I’d be in hospital for two, three or four weeks. “Well, I was out within nine days. I couldn’t believe it. All this is down to the fitness regime – it’s been marvellous. “I’ve just had a new grandson arrive in ebruary, he’s also inspired me and I want to get better to see him – that’s encouraged me to get moving.” SKY News.