This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Bowel cancer patients not advised to exercise

Written by: | Published:

Bowel cancer patients are not receiving advice Bowel cancer patients are not receiving advice

The majority of bowel cancer patients are not advised on the benefits of regular exercise after diagnosis, a study by the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London has found.

The study, published in The BMJ, surveyed over 15,000 bowel cancer patients on their levels of physical activity, and whether they received advice from a healthcare worker when they were diagnosed. Of the respondents, 69% said that they had not received any advice from a healthcare worker on the benefits of physical activity. It also showed that women, older patients and those from deprived areas were less likely to receive advice.

Martin Ledwick, head cancer information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said: 'There's evidence to show that exercise is beneficial and safe for cancer patients. And some studies show that it can even help to speed up recovery after treatment.'

The study also found that 51% of those who were given advice did some exercise, compared to 42% of those who did receive advice. Additionally, 25% of those who were given advice met the recommended level of physical activity guidelines compared with 20% of those who did not receive advice.

The study's lead author Dr Abi Fisher, a senior researcher at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, said: 'Our research suggests that advice on being active isn't in place yet, but we believe this should become a part of bowel cancer care. Previous research has shown that healthcare professionals can increase their cancer patients' levels of activity by discussing exercise, but they need clear information to ensure this important advice becomes routine.'

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.