27 November 2012
Responding to new guidelines on walking and cycling published by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)  today, Elaine McNish, Physical Activity Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“We are delighted that NICE has recognised the importance of being physically active. It is vital that local authorities also acknowledge the benefits of moderate exercise, especially for cancer patients.
“Keeping active during and after cancer treatment is crucial to the recovery process; it reduces the side effects of treatment as well as the risk of some cancers recurring and dying from the disease2. Public health commissioners must commission physical activity services for people with cancer to give them the best possible chance of recovery and to help reduce unplanned admissions to hospital.”
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Media & PR Officer,
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
1 The guidance will be available on the NICE website from Wednesday 28 November at: www.nice.org.uk/PH41
2 Recommended levels of physical activity for adults are 150 minutes moderate intensity activity a week. See Department of Health (2011) Start Active, Stay Active, A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. Link to guidance below:
Increasing the amount of moderate intensity physical activity up to recommended levels can help reduce breast cancer patients’ risk of dying from the disease and of recurrence by up to 40%, compared to those doing less than an hour a week.
Bowel cancer patients doing around 6 hours of moderate intensity physical activity a week could help reduce their risk of dying from the disease by around 50% compared to those doing less than an hour a week. Evidence from two studies also shows that bowel cancer patients doing around 6 hours of physical activity a week could help reduce their risk of cancer coming back by around 50%, compared to those doing less than an hour a week.
Doing recommended levels of physical activity can help reduce prostate cancer patients’ risk of dying from the disease by up to 30% compared to those doing less than an hour a week.
Evidence about the benefits of physical activity in reducing the side-effects of cancer and its treatment include:
Speck RM, Courneya KS, Mässe LC, Duval S, Schmitz KH (2010) An update of controlled physical activity trials in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cancer Surviv 4:87-100
Cramp and Daniel (2008) Physical activity for the management of cancer related fatigue in adults. Cochrane. Database. Syst. Rev. 2008
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) (2004) At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health, London: Department of Health (DH)
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way.
We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The fundraisers who make it all possible.
We are Macmillan Cancer Support.