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NICE updates guidance on exercise and breast cancer

8 July 2014 - 11:52am

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that people with breast cancer should not avoid exercise because of fears that it will cause or worsen lymphoedema.

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Download the updated guidance below

In updated guidance on the care of people with advanced breast cancer, NICE says that although exercise will not prevent lymphoedema, it will not cause the condition or make existing symptoms worse.

Natalie Beswetherick, director of practice and development at the CSP, said the updated guidance is an ‘important re-emphasis that even women with advanced breast cancer need to exercise their arms to reduce the risk of lymphoedema’.

Aileen McCartney, chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care (ACPOPC), said: ‘ACPOC is delighted to see specific guidance on exercise and lymphoedema, as this is a growing specialism with increasing numbers of physiotherapists working in this field.’

Rachel Rawson, clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said: ‘Knowing that exercise can be beneficial will give confidence to those living with the condition.’

The document calls on clinicians to discuss the benefits of exercise with people who have, or who are at risk of, breast cancer-related lymphoedema.

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