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Cancer: getting in shape before surgery can shorten hospital stays

By Thomas Keegan, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, Lancaster University
Christopher Gaffney, Lecturer in Integrative Physiology, Lancaster University
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Undergoing any type of surgery is tough on the body, and even more so if it’s for serious conditions, such as cancer. But getting in shape before surgery – known as prehabilitation – can significantly improve patients’ recovery, for example by reducing how long they need to stay in hospital afterwards.

We conducted a review of the current research on prehabilitation in cancer surgery, looking at 15 studies in total. We wanted to know what effects certain prehabilitation programmes had on three different outcomes…

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