Thursday 20th June 2013
The partnership between Macmillan and Boots is inspiring people affected by cancer to get active.
It has been well documented that safe and appropriate physical activity can significantly reduce the impact of long-term side effects of some cancer treatments, such as bone thinning, muscle wasting, heart damage and fatigue. Taking part in physical activity has also been shown to have a positive impact on patients suffering from depression during their treatment.
Physical activity can help to prevent and manage other long-term conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is important, given the prevalence of comorbidities in the cancer population.
There is also emerging evidence that physical activity may help reduce the relative risk of recurrence, and the disease progression of some cancers.
One thing we do know is that physical activity can have the added benefit of allowing patients to regain a sense of control over their lives. As part of the Boots Macmillan partnership, we hope to encourage more positive conversations at a local level and inspire more people living with cancer to be more active.
To support this, some of our Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have undertaken additional training, developed jointly by Boots and Macmillan, to help support Boots customers directly in store. They will also be able to signpost them to additional support services in their local community, and to resources, making it even simpler to take small, achievable steps, quite literally.
To provide an additional avenue for information provision around physical activity, Macmillan has produced a new, free, exercise DVD to help people get started. The Get active, feel Good DVD features a range of exercises for all abilities and is suitable at all stages of treatment. There will be increased information in Boots stores about the benefits of physical activity, to encourage conversations with the Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist, who can also dispense the DVD as appropriate.
With more than 1,300 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists, we will be able to support cancer survivors, their family and friends, who may not be actively seeking information about cancer through traditional ‘health’ channels, but who may need this support more than they realise. Without the need for an appointment, our Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists and in-store healthcare teams are able to supplement advice they may already be seeking from their medical team, and likewise, help start new conversations.
Professor Robert Thomas, Consultant Oncologist at Bedford and Addenbrooke’s Cambridge University Hospitals, says: ‘Regular physical activity is fundamentally important after cancer – taken regularly, it has a major impact on the speed of recovery after cancer treatments as well as improving the chance a of long-term, fulfilling survival.’
To find out more about the benefits of promoting physical activity to your patients and to access our support resources , or order copies of the DVD and our Move more pack.