Evidence shows that physical activity is important in preventing recurrence of colorectal cancer. Being active can substantially reduce the risk of reoccurrence, by approximately 30%. However, there is limited research into the effect of being active from diagnosis through to the end of treatment. There are some large trials underway assessing the benefit of exercise prior to and immediately post-surgery, but currently there is less information of the benefit during treatment.
Being physically active and exercising has been shown to be safe and feasible post-surgery, during treatment and beyond. Guidelines suggest that patients should be encouraged to be as active as possible during this period. Being active during treatment may reduce fatigue, treatment side effects, help maintain muscle and reduce the risk of hospitalisations and infections during cancer treatment. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, face to face physical activity programmes for cancer patients in hospital and community settings have largely been suspended and patients may be concerned to attend programmes during this time. Some patients also prefer the option of tailored home-based programmes during their treatment.
This feasibility study is designed to test a remote activity programme tailored for patients with colorectal cancer, delivered completely at home. The programme builds on the work of the established Cambridge University Hospital Trust’s Rehabilitation & Exercise during Addenbrooke’s Cancer Treatment (REACT) programme.
Starting in May 2021 we will recruit 20-30 patients from their outpatient oncology appointment prior to starting treatment.