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NHS will provide fitness bootcamps for cancer patients to give better chance of survival.

Health / Thu 26th Dec 2019 at 05:13pm

The NHS will provide fitness bootcamps for cancer patients to give them a better chance of survival.

PATIENTS will be encouraged to sign up for the three-week courses within 48 hours of diagnosis to give them the best possible chance of surviving surgery or chemotherapy.

More than 4,000 patients across the country will be offered a free gym membership and nutrition advice as part of a pilot scheme over the next year.

A trial of 450 patients in Southampton found that those who did intensive exercise before treatment suffered fewer complications.

One trial in Greater Manchester will involve 2,000 patients with cancers of the bowel, lung and upper gastrointestinal tract being offered fitness classes before they start treatment.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Cancer treatments now work better than ever, but they can really take a toll on your body.

‘So there’s increasing evidence that it’s really worth trying to get match fit ahead of chemo or major surgery.’

An intensive exercise regimen would enable a quicker departure from hospital, Mr Stevens said.

‘In effect, you are ‘priming’ your own recovery before your treatment even begins, boosting strength and wellbeing, often meaning you can also come home from hospital sooner,’ he added.

But the plans to have patients sign up within two days of a cancer diagnosis have caused concern.

Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: ‘The gym doesn’t seem like the first place you would want to be if you were just told you have cancer.’

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