Greater Manchester will one area of the country where newly diagnosed cancer patients will be signed up for NHS fitness bootcamps in a drive to improve survival.

Getting fit can help the body tolerate treatment such as chemotherapy.

A trial in Southampton found that patients who had fitness training on bikes had a shorter length of hospital stay and fewer complications, while earlier this year a global panel of experts said cancer patients should routinely be prescribed activity.

The coalition involving Edinburgh University, Macmillan Cancer Support and the American College of Sports Medicine said exercise during and after cancer treatment reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression, and improved physical function and quality of life.

Over the next twelve months,more than 4,000 cancer patients in Manchester, London, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Leicester will be prescribed exercise regimes either at the point of diagnosis or within days of receiving the news.

If the schemes show improvements in survival and well-being, the pilot projects will be rolled out more widely.

In the largest trial, participants will be offered free gym memberships and be asked to take part in at least nine sessions of high-intensity interval training before surgery goes ahead. Those unable to take part in strenuous activity will be offered alternatives.


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