Exercise in clinical cancer care: a call to action and program development description

  • D. Santa Mina York University; Princess Margaret Hospital
  • S.M.H. Alibhai University of Toronto; Department of Medicine, University Health Network
  • A.G. Matthew Princess Margaret Hospital
  • C.L. Guglietti York University
  • J. Steele Wellspring
  • J. Trachtenberg Princess Margaret Hospital; University of Toronto
  • P.G. Ritvo Cancer Care Ontario; York University


A large and convincing body of evidence demonstrates the benefits of exercise for cancer survivors during and after treatment. Based on that literature, more cancer survivors should be offered exercise support and programming. Unfortunately, exercise programs remain an exception rather than the norm in cancer care. Not surprisingly, common barriers to the implementation of exercise programs in oncology include limited resources, expertise, and awareness of benefits on the part of patients and clinicians. To improve the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of cancer exercise programs, one proposed strategy is to combine the resources of hospital and community- based programs with home-based exercise instruction. The present paper highlights current literature regarding exercise programming for cancer survivors, describes the development of an exercise program for cancer patients in Toronto, Canada, and offers experiential insights into the integration of exercise into oncologic care.

Author Biography

D. Santa Mina, York University; Princess Margaret Hospital
Daniel Santa Mina is an exercise physiologist and cancer exercise specialist currently completing his PhD at York University in Toronto, Canada. His research interests include the effects of exercise on psychosocial and physical fitness outcomes during and after treatment for cancer. He is the Director of the Survivorship Exercise Program at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
How to Cite
Santa Mina, D., Alibhai, S., Matthew, A., Guglietti, C., Steele, J., Trachtenberg, J., & Ritvo, P. (1). Exercise in clinical cancer care: a call to action and program development description. Current Oncology, 19(3), e136-144. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.19.912
Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship