© 2018 The Pink Movement

TPM #18: Exercise as medicine with Prue Cormie

January 23, 2018



If you focus on just one thing following a breast cancer diagnosis, it has to be exercise! It is the one thing proven by research to not only help with all those nasty side effects of treatment, but also to help with preventing re occurrence. It literally could save your life!


In this episode Professor Prue Cormie shares the latest research findings around cancer and exercise, including the benefits and recommended dose.  A must listen!




Associate Professor Prue Cormie is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist whose research and clinical work focuses on the role of exercise in the management of cancer. On top of over 65 publications and book chapters in this space, Prue has produced influential research exploring the effectiveness of targeted exercise prescriptions in counteracting side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. A core component of her work is translating this research into practice to create meaningful improvements in health care services for people with cancer.


Prue is the inaugural Chair of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Exercise and Cancer Group and leads the Exercise and Sports Science Australia Cancer Special Interest Group.


Prue is a passionate science communicator with over 100 invited presentations in the last 5 years including in a TEDTalk: titled A new contender in the fight against cancer  where Prue presented a concept of Exercise as Medicine.


If there is one person in Australia to speak to about exercise and cancer it is Prue. She is an extraordinary woman and a pioneer in this space.




  • The LATEST research findings around cancer and exercise

  • BENEFITS of exercising during treatment

  • RECOMMENDED dose of exercise

  • WHO you can work with

  • A few TIPS on rebates and minimising your spend in this area





Latest research findings

  • People with cancer who are involved in greater levels of exercise, have a lower relative risk of dying from their cancer, have a lower level risk of their cancer coming back, and they experienced fewer or less severe treatment related side effects.

  • Exercise should be embedded as a standard component of cancer care.

  • Exercise can slow tumours from growing and spreading.


Benefits of exercising during treatment

  • Ability to tolerate higher doses of chemotherapy

  • Strength and fitness remains at a higher level

  • Less cancer related fatigue

  • Energy levels are likely to be higher

  • Less impact on mood and stress

  • Better sleep quality

  • Less chemo brain!


What’s the recommended dose of exercise?

  • 150 min of aerobic exercise a week – 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Can be a brisk walk, swim, etc.

  • 2-3 resistance sessions a week – lifting weights at a moderate intensity

Both of the above are crucial to achieve the benefits.

The most important elements here is the QUALITY of the exercise. 

But if you can’t do the above, any activity is better than none, and generally speaking, more is better than less.



Who to work with

  • A referral to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist is the best place to start.

  • Others include a physiotherapist or fitness professional who has experience in working with people with cancer.



  • You can use an AEP in an ongoing capacity, or just for a consult to prescribe an exercise strategy and plan specific to you.

  • Medicare provides rebates for working with an AEP

  • Some Private Health Insurers also provide rebates.

  • Think about any spend as an investment in your health and well-being.




“If you could encapsulate the benefits of exercise in a pill, it would be the most widely prescribed medication in the world”



“Invest in exercise – it’s the smartest health insurance policy you could ever buy”



Find an exercise physiologist: https://www.essa.org.au/find-aep/

Find a trainer with qualifications in cancer and exercise: http://fitness.org.au/directory/reps/1
Find a Pinc Physiotherapist: http://www.pincandsteel.com/our-physios/find-a-physio/


TED Talk: A new contender in the fight against cancer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIQh4fUZkJs




Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prue-cormie-01b904a9/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pruecormie




Web: www.thepinkmovement.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepinkmovement.com.au/
Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/thepinkmovementclub/

Email: christy@thepinkmovement.com.au


P.S. Love TPM Podcast? Review me on iTunes



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