Exercise for people living with cancer

If you are being treated for cancer or recovering, you may think it’s important to rest, but research shows that exercise benefits most people with cancer. Learn more about exercise, and the benefits of physical activity before, during and after cancer treatment.

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Questions for your health team

  • Is there any reason why I could not exercise during my treatment?
  • Are there any precautions I should take or types of exercise I should avoid?
  • What precautions should I take if I have a port, PICC line, chemotherapy pump or stoma?
  • I haven’t exercised much before. Do I need to have any general health checks first?
  • Can you recommend an exercise professional who has experience helping people with cancer?
  • Can you help me to get a chronic disease management plan, and a referral to an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist?

Questions for your exercise professionals

  • What are your qualifications? Are you an ESSA accredited exercise physiologist or an APC accredited physiotherapist?
  • Have you completed training focused on exercise for people with cancer?
  • Can you talk to my medical team about my exercise program?
  • What will you consider when preparing an exercise program for someone with my medical history?
  • I would like to start slowly and build up this program, is that okay?
  • How will I know that I am doing the exercises correctly?
  • What should I do if I feel pain when exercising?
  • What if I feel too unwell to exercise?
  • How long might it be before I start to see some benefits from this exercise program?
  • How many appointments am I likely to need?
  • How can I exercise safely to avoid COVID-19? Do you have HEPA filters in your gym or a fresh air option? Can I use a mask? Do you have a carbon dioxide monitor to show me how well ventilated your gym is?

Learn about some arm and shoulder exercises that can help after breast surgery.

Exercise videos

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