Oncologists in spat with exercise experts over patient advice

Guideline may cause 'considerable angst' among patients unable to meet the level, academics say

Australian oncologists have gone head-to-head with a group of exercise science experts over a recommendation that all cancer patients should be prescribed exercise.

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s (COSA) 2018 position statement, released in May 2018, advises doctors to encourage cancer patients to meet physical activity levels almost identical to goals set for healthy Australians.

At the time, the recommendation that cancer patients would benefit from 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a week, plus a couple of strength-based training sessions, was billed as a world first and made headlines around the world.

But now three exercise science academics from Edith Cowan University in Perth are questioning the wisdom of encouraging all cancer patients to do the same amount of exercise as healthy Australians.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor