A panel of oncology and exercise experts is recommending systematic use of an “exercise prescription” to improve cancer survival and prevent certain types of cancer.

The group of 17 organizations was convened by the American College of Sports Medicine and includes the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Following a comprehensive research review, it concluded that exercise training is not only safe for cancer survivors, but that every survivor should avoid inactivity.

The panel recommends that exercise should be prescribed to help improve survival after a diagnosis of breast, colon and prostate cancer. And it concluded that exercising during and after cancer treatment: 

  1. decreases fatigue, anxiety and depression 
  2. improves physical function and quality of life 
  3. does NOT exacerbate lymphedema

It also found that exercise specifically lowers the risk of seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus and stomach.

The recommendations are detailed in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.