Evidence
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Supervised exercise sessions increase physical activity and fitness of cancer survivors

Aerobic exercise and resistance sessions that include supervision help people living with cancer to meet guideline physical activity levels. Common behaviour change techniques that were shown to increase physical activity are goal setting, graded tasks (e.g. increasing exercise duration or intensity over time), and instruction on how to perform particular exercises. This review update looked …

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Sodium thiosulfate reduces hearing loss in children treated with chemotherapy

Treatment with sodium thiosulfate alongside cisplatin chemotherapy can reduce hearing loss in children with a liver tumour called hepatoblastoma. The risk of hearing loss was reduced by 48% in children who had the combination treatment compared with those who had cisplatin only. This phase 3 trial involved 109 children with standard-risk hepatoblastoma and tested the …

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Factors in men’s choice of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer

Many personal, organisational and national factors can help or hinder men from choosing active surveillance over radical treatment when they have low-risk prostate cancer. Men are more likely to adhere to this plan of regular monitoring if they and their families are fully informed and understand that it includes the option of further treatment if …

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Enhanced recovery programmes after stomach cancer surgery reduce hospital stay without increasing complications

Enhanced recovery programmes reduce length of hospital stay and associated healthcare costs after stomach cancer surgery, with no impact on short-term mortality or post-operative complications. They also improve post-operative quality of life. The enhanced recovery approach includes a range of components designed to help people to recover more quickly and have better outcomes after surgery. These …

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Single routine offer of a blood test for prostate cancer did not save lives

Offering all men aged 50 to 69 a single, screening prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test did not prevent deaths from prostate cancer. This large trial included 573 UK general practices and over 400,000 men. It found that men who were invited to have a PSA test were 19% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate …

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Fewer side-effects and similar benefits from shorter chemotherapy after bowel cancer surgery

A three-month course of chemotherapy after surgery for bowel cancer seems no less effective than the standard six-month course, and half as many people suffered from nerve damage as a side-effect. Three-quarters of people survived to three years without disease progression on either treatment. This international trial, part funded by the NIHR, included over 6,000 …

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Common osteoporosis drugs may prevent breast cancer spreading to bone

Drugs commonly prescribed to prevent bone thinning probably help prevent the spread of early breast cancer to the bones in a few women, when taken in addition to standard cancer therapies. However, the overall benefits may be small, for example preventing spread to bone or death in about one extra woman in every 100 treated …

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Being overweight or having diabetes are both linked to cancer

For western high-income countries such as the UK, an estimated 15% to 16% of cancers could be avoided by preventing diabetes, obesity or excess weight (defined as a Body Mass Index [BMI] greater than 25). A high BMI was responsible for almost twice as many cancers as diabetes. Around 5.6% of cancers globally in 2012 …

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Men feel physically and psychologically ill-prepared for prostate cancer surgery

Following prostate cancer surgery men often experience physical changes, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, causing negative emotions and distress. This review found that men felt poorly prepared – psychologically and physically – for the changes they might experience after surgery. Surgery was often described as “life-changing”, and men described worrying about their future. …

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Aerobic exercise moderately reduces depressive symptoms in new mothers

For women who have had a baby in the past year, doing aerobic exercise can reduce the level of depressive symptoms they experience. This NIHR funded review of 13 studies showed that involving new mothers in group exercise programmes, or advising them on an exercise of their choice, reduced depressive symptoms compared with usual care. …

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