Exercise can have many benefits for a patient with cancer. However, the patient should be checked to make sure that exercise will not cause more harm than good.

Factors that may limit exercise for a patient with cancer:

(1) bone metastases

(2) metastases to other sites causing complications

(3) immunosuppression

(4) neutropenia

(5) anemia

(6) thrombocytopenia

(7) hypercoagulable (thrombotic) or hypocoagulable (bleeding) disorder

(8) fever or evidence of infection

(9) visual impairment

(10) vertigo

(11) excessive nausea

(12) unstable gait or increased risk for falls

(13) cardiac and/or pulmonary toxicity from chemoradiation



• Additional items may be hearing impairment and adverse drug effects.


A patient with cancer should be evaluated prior to starting an exercise program and periodically thereafter.


The exercise regimen should be planned to minimize the risk of an adverse effect while maximizing the physical conditioning. The patient may want to have a companion during certain activities (swimming, sitting in a sauna, etc).

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