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CANfit - Exercise to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence

A groundbreaking clinical trial will test the benefits of personalised exercise programmes for people with three types of cancer.

The CANfit study, led by the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull, will investigate how exercise improves people's chances of surviving lung, breast and bowel cancer and how it reduces the likelihood of these cancers returning.

From October 2023, hundreds of people with early-stage breast, bowel and lung cancer in Hull and Sheffield will be offered a personalised exercise programme shortly after they have completed their programme of cancer treatment.

Patients taking part in the trial will complete a six-month supervised exercise programme before being monitored over a two year period. They will be compared with patients with the same cancers who are receiving standard NHS treatment.

Evidence shows that exercise before, during and after a cancer diagnosis can increase treatment options, reduce side effects and complications and speed up recovery from treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. 

Exercise can also reduce the risk of dying from cancer by up to 44% in those who are physically active compared to those who are inactive, and the risk of cancer coming back in the future could be reduced by up to 66%.

The study and exercise programme have been developed in collaboration with Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Hull, and the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.


Dr Cynthia Forbes

Hull York Medical School

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60+ female using weights to exercise at home