On receiving a diagnosis, people with cancer face many challenges. For some, the cancer may already have affected both their physical and nutritional state, as well as their psychological well-being, before treatment is started.
Individually and combined, such changes can decrease patients’ resilience to cancer and affect their response to surgery or systemic anti-cancer treatment. To maximise health outcomes, patients need to be supported to address their nutritional needs, to engage in supervised and structured exercise therapy, and to access psychological support. Thanks to this prehabilitation, a patient’s physical and psychological resilience and response to treatment can be improved in a way that fosters a sense of control and purpose, and enables them to take steps to improve and maintain their long-term health.
These principles have been included in a report published by Macmillan Cancer Support, the Royal College of Anesthetists and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration calling for a greater focus on prehabilitation, including nutrition, physical activity and psychological support, in the delivery of cancer care. It is now increasingly evident that the principles of multimodal interventions prior to surgery are equally applicable across all aspects of improving the resilience and wellbeing of the patient prior, during and after therapy, or even for those receiving treatment with non-curable intent.
In this Special Focus Dialogue, experts on prehabilitation in cancer shared their experience in developing, implementing and evaluating prehabilitation interventions, including how being nutritionally, physically and psychologically ‘unfit’ might influence the resilience to cancer and how multimodal prehabilitation can help decrease treatment-related morbidity, increase cancer treatment options, and improve physical and psychological health outcomes.
This session was held in collaboration with
Virtual event - online | recorded in
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