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More than a million people can benefit from getting active during and after cancer

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Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists can now provide physical activity information within the local community, including a new exercise DVD, to people affected by cancer.

Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support know that when you’re living with or after cancer, physical activity can make a positive impact on your life and even a short stroll can make all the difference. To help support the two million people living with and beyond cancer in the UK - of whom an estimated 1.6 million are not physically active to recommended levels.

Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have been given additional training to offer information on how to get active. They can also help connect people to cancer support in their local area and provide a new exercise DVD, at a time when they need it most.

The new ‘Get Active, Feel Good’ exercise DVD, developed by Macmillan Cancer Support, is free and available in Boots UK stores from 3 July 2013. The DVD offers a low level exercise to music programme designed specifically for people living with or after cancer and stories from people affected by cancer describing how becoming active has helped them.

Physical activity can help boost energy after treatment, is safe to do so at an appropriate pace and can also reduce the impact of side effects such as anxiety, depression and impaired mobility. There is also emerging evidence that physical activity may help reduce the relative risk of recurrence, and disease progression of some cancers. Long-term it is an effective way to help recover physical function, manage fatigue, improve quality of life and mental health, and control body weight.

Prof Robert Thomas, Consultant Oncologist at Bedford and Addenbrooke’s Cambridge University Hospitals, commented: “Regular physical activity is fundamentally important after cancer – taken regularly, it has a major impact on the speed of recovery after cancer treatments as well as improving the chance a of long term, fulfilling, survival. It is great to be able to offer patients another touch point within their community where they can receive information as this will enhance the level of support available to them at a local level. This is particularly important as latest research indicates that by 2020 almost one in two people (47%) will get cancer in their lifetime.”

Angela Chalmers, Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist, said: “I have seen first-hand the difference talking things through can make to people who are living with or after cancer. Community Pharmacy provides a convenient way for people to access information and support and Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists can now offer additional guidance to help people affected by cancer to get active.”

As one of the most trusted professions in the UK combined with being at the forefront of patient care, pharmacists are in a unique position to deliver additional information to those affected by cancer, on the high street within the community. Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists are Boots UK pharmacists who have chosen to receive bespoke training (developed by Boots and Macmillan) to help people affected by cancer access information and support, across the UK.

Abdullah Preston from Heston, London, said: “It’s great that I can now go to my local Boots pharmacy and not only find out more about what is available in my area to help me get active, but also pick up this great DVD. There is so much information that you have to digest when you are diagnosed and when you are going through treatment, that thinking about the benefits of being active is just not front of mind. I wouldn’t have known where to turn to for further information on keeping active so having easy access to this kind of support really helps.”

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