Screening and safety

People with cancer present with a wide variety of needs that need to be considered carefully before embarking on an exercise-based rehabilitation program.

Cancer and Safety of Exercise

Exercise-based rehabilitation is safe for people with cancer when delivered by an appropriately trained exercise professional such as a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist. Blanket medical clearance is currently not recommended for this patient group to avoid posing additional barriers to exercise participation. Rather, medical clearance should be sought for specific at-risk populations including:

  • Post lung or abdominal surgery
  • Ostomy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ataxia
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe nutritional deficiencies
  • Worsening/changing physical condition
  • Bony metastases

It is also important you assess your patients haematological status and physiological signs such as SpO2, blood pressure, heart rate, You should also consider obtaining medical clearance if your patient falls outside of acceptable haematological parameters .

Cancer survivors are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and should be screened for underlying cardiac disease. Some patients may require a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) before commencing an exercise-based rehabilitation program

Precautions and contraindications to exercise can be found here.