NHS Offering Cancer Patients Gym Before Chemotherapy

A patient who did the “prehab” programme was out of hospital within nine days, after he was told he’d be hospitalised for up to four weeks.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The UK’s NHS will be inviting newly diagnosed cancer patients a fitness programme before they start chemotherapy to expedite their recovery.

BBC reported that thousands will be invited to gym sessions within 48 hours of being diagnosed to “match fit” before chemotherapy or major surgery.

A mix of strength-based training and high-intensity cardio workouts, in addition to nutritional advice and mental health support, will be provided.

Experts reportedly said three fitness sessions a week would hopefully reduce hospitalisation time by “priming” patients for recovery.

Over 500 patients, BBC reported, were already participating in the exercise programme in Greater Manchester, with another 2,000 expected to join over the next two years. Similar services are provided in London, Leicester, and Yorkshire.

“There’s increasing evidence that it’s really worth trying to get match fit ahead of chemo or major surgery,” NHS chief executive Simon Stevens was quoted saying.

“In effect you are ‘priming’ your own recovery before your treatment even begins.”

One patient, David Fowles, told BBC that he entered the “prehab” programme earlier this year before a 10.5 hour surgery.

“I was told I’d be in hospital for two, three or four weeks. Well, I was out within nine days. I couldn’t believe it. All this is down to the fitness regime – it’s been marvellous.”

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