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UK's first self referral cancer specialist exercise classes launched in Glasgow

July 17, 2012 11:39 AM

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A pioneering new community based exercise programme for cancer patients has launched in Glasgow. CANmove is the UK’s first open access exercise classes for cancer patients to be delivered by highly trained fitness instructors.

The launch comes on the same day that Macmillan Cancer Support releases research which shows that nearly half (49%) of Scots who have completed treatment for cancer said that no health professionals, such as GPs, oncologists and clinical nurse specialists, or exercise professionals spoke to them about the importance of being physically active.

This is despite evidence which shows that being active during and after treatment can maintain physical function and minimise the side effects of treatment, and could help prevent recurrence and dying from the disease for some cancers. During treatment the advice is to reduce the amount of time spent sitting down and after treatment to gradually build up the amount that you do, working towards meeting the physical activity guidelines.The Scottish Government’s general guidance on activity is that adults undertake 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Being active to recommended levels can help reduce the impact of side effects of cancer treatment such as fatigue, muscle wasting, decreased mobility, depression and anxiety.

The new exercise programme is a development of the Active ABC classes which were launched by Glasgow Sport and various breast cancer charities in October 2009 and were available to women with breast cancer. Following the success of these exercise classes Macmillan Cancer Support has been working with Glasgow Sport and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to expand the programme to include patients with any type of cancer.

Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: "We are delighted to be working with Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to deliver a programme that will make such a difference to people’s lives. Exercise is vitally important to the health and wellbeing of patients and as a city we should be proud to be the first to deliver such invaluable classes to everyone.”

Elspeth Atkinson, Director of Macmillan Cancer Support, says: ““We know that going through gruelling cancer treatment can be a very frightening for people, however knowing what you can do to help yourself and your recovery is both encouraging and helpful. It is crucial that health professionals encourage people living with cancer to stay physically active and Macmillan will continue to work with and support them to ensure that this happens.”

“The new CANmove classes is just one of many ways for cancer patients in Glasgow to get their recommend levels of physical activity, however people across Scotland can also access support for getting into or back into physical activity on the Macmillan website and helpline 0808 808 0000.”

Mike McKirdy, a consultant breast surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and Inverclyde Hospital in Greenock, said: "We are trying to improve the outcomes, not just in terms of survival for people with cancer but also ensure they have a good quality of life and recover physically and mentally from all the treatment.  Keeping active and taking part in exercise plays a vital role in this.

“We’ve already seen how successful exercise can be for women with breast cancer through our MBrace initiative which is also funded by Macmillan and is a 12-week programme which gets women exercising with the support of fellow patients and professionals.  CANmove will help to get more people moving and aid in their recovery as they get back to lead, full normal lives after cancer.”

Classes will take place from Monday to Saturday at various times in the following venues across Glasgow - Glasgow Club Springburn, Palace of Art in Bellahouston, St Frances Centre in Gorbals, Tollcross Youth Centre, Glasgow Club Drumchapel Pool, Glasgow Club Castlemilk Pool, The Bridge in Easterhouse and Glasgow Club Kelvinhall.

To register to attend or find out more about the classes tel:  0141 287 0241 or email:  [email protected]

For support getting into or back into physical activity you can visit: and request an information pack or call the support line tel: 0808 808 0000.

For further information contact:
Rebecca Charles, Macmillan Cancer Support Communications Officer
0131 260 3720/07790 010 656

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021