Prehabilitation is the phase where exercise and other supportive care interventions (e.g. counselling, nutritional support) are provided to patients to prepare for cancer treatment.

The aim of prehabilitation is to maximise fitness and function to prevent complications of a major procedure.

Common scenarios where patients may receive prehabilitation

During this phase, patients may be feeling well as they have not commenced any other anti-cancer treatment while waiting for their procedure. These patients may be able to work at higher exercise intensities than those who are receiving or completed treatment such as chemotherapy. Others may be receiving cancer treatments such as high dose chemotherapy or radiation so management of potential side-effects needs to be considered when prescribing exercise for this population.

Further reading