Common questions about physical activity and cancer

If you have cancer you may be worried about whether you should do physical activity. You may wonder if it is safe before, during or after treatment and what activities might be right for you.

Here we answer some of the common questions asked about cancer and physical activity.

Should I exercise if I have cancer?

Why is being physically active important?

How can I be more active?

Cancer stories

A man standing in a supermarket with a Macmillan donation bucket.

"I tried to keep moving as much as I could, or when I could." - Charlie

Karen is wearing boxing gloves to exercise.

“I use exercise to help me mend my broken brain and body.” Karen’s story

James has a blue jumper and shirt and glasses on.

"I now run slower and less but I still enjoy it." - James

Read about exercise trials with cancer patients

A dark green kettlebell on a light green background.

Rehabilitation for colorectal cancer 

Dark green training shoes on a light green background.

Prehabilitation and rehabilitation for patients in Manchester 

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.