Why You Should Get PreActiv

A Review of MacMillan’s Prehabilitation Guidance In Relation to Cancer Care

Dr. J. Dauncey, Dr. R. Allam, H. Bullough
1st of Feburary 2022

“Getting a cancer diagnosis collapses your whole world. Getting a grip on the whole process could transform a devastating year into a challenging opportunity to take back some control and enhance the effectiveness of your treatment.”

Jenny Doe

You can prepare for cancer therapy and/or major surgery using prehabilitation. This involves exercise, nutrition, lifestyle changes and psychological support tailored to your needs which can significantly improve your treatment outcomes by:

All the while also giving you the mental endurance for your upcoming treatment.

In July 2019, Macmillan Cancer support partnered with the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the National Institute for Health Research Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration to produce a comprehensive set of principles and guidelines for prehabilitation to help manage and support people with cancer.

The study suggests that prehabilitation should be seen as part of routine cancer care. Not only does the practice of prehabilitation reduce the risk of complications but it also promotes positive lifestyle changes, using the patient’s treatment journey to address healthy behaviours. These changes will impact future health as well as immediate treatment outcomes. It is vital that people are supported to change and given the capability, opportunity and motivation to do so.

How Can I Access Prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation is divided into three different types; 

universal, targeted and specialist.

Universal interventions are for anyone. They can be self-managed and include encouraging healthy eating, being active and stopping smoking. The resources for these interventions can be found through the NHS or on trusted apps and/or websites.

Targeted interventions are aimed at reducing the risk of effects of disease or treatment. This type of prehabilitation is more targeted and personalised to the individual needs of the patient. This may include one-to-one or group exercise sessions led by specialists alongside dietician counselling to improve nutrition. Targeted prehabilitation also includes counselling, attempting to understand a patient’s resistance to change and giving patients guidance psychologically as well as physically.

Specialist interventions are mainly for complex treatment or major surgery. They may involve specialist monitoring of progress. These interventions are personalised and patient-specific and support those who are very inactive and/or require artificial nutrition support such as intravenous feeding regimes.

“My family seeing my own regime of prehabilitation meant that they could draw strength from the fact that I was being positive and proactive in trying to help myself.”

Clive Moore

Personalised prehabilitation care plans ensure each patient has the correct level of support tailored to their needs and treatment. Patients are able to:

Exercise interventions have been shown to improve not only cardiorespiratory fitness and lung function but also mental health and quality of life. Prehabilitation should be started as early as possible but can be effective from as little as two weeks before treatment. It enables patients to develop greater resilience to the physical, psychological and long term impacts of their treatment.

“I will recommend prehab for all newly diagnosed cancer patients.”

Della Ogunleye

Looking to the future Macmillan suggests prehabilitation, despite recognising that it can be costly and time-consuming for health care professionals, should be an integral part of cancer care. The report recommends prehabilitation should be utilised in and out of hospital, and should include multidisciplinary team members (eg. GPs, dieticians and/or speech and language therapists), creating an individualised patient focused care plan.

Preparing to repair can be daunting and leave some people feeling anxious about upcoming treatments. At PreActiv we have carefully used this study to perfect our platform to address what people need physically and mentally when empowering their recovery.


Not only can a personalised prehabilitation programme give you peace of mind about your physical endurance during major cancer treatment but preparing physically empowers you mentally to address unhealthy habits and feel ready to take control of your health.


The complete version of these guidelines can be found here.

The latest blog updated on 1st of Feburary 2022.

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