Pre-adaptation for cancer patients –

A £ 270,000 pilot program offers pre-treatment support.

A new pre-treatment support program for cancer patients is launched across Scotland.

The project will provide personalized help and advice on exercise, nutrition and mental health, to improve outcomes for those preparing for cancer treatment.

Pre-adaptation – rehabilitation before treatment – will be offered at eight Maggie’s centers across the country, thanks to a Scottish government investment of £ 270,000.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf visited the Dundee Charity Center where he learned more about the project. He said:

“Pre-adaptation enables people with cancer to prepare physically and mentally for treatment by adopting healthy behaviors, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for them. It can reduce length of hospital stay and post-treatment complications, and improve recovery, fitness, nutritional status, neurocognitive function, and quality of life.

“This pilot program will help us understand how the NHS and the third sector can work together to help people before their cancer treatment.

“With eight centers across Scotland, working with Maggie’s allows us to meet the needs of cancer patients near them. We want to empower them to get the best possible results from their treatment and improve their long-term health.

“Cancer treatment has remained a top priority for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. “

Maggie CEO Dame Laura Lee said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to help people with new cancer diagnoses understand the benefits of making changes before treatment begins.

“Gentle exercise, good nutrition, and emotional and psychological support are already aspects of Maggie’s basic support program – but it usually comes after the patient has started treatment. This new project will ensure that those newly diagnosed find support sooner and be implemented while working with the NHS as part of their package of care. “

Prehabilitation is a flagship of the Scottish Government’s cancer plan. As a component of rehabilitation, it should underpin the entire cancer journey and be an integral part of the care of all people diagnosed with cancer.

We have established a Cancer Pre-adaptation Steering Group, to ensure that lessons from Maggie’s pilot and other approaches are shared across Scotland and inform future ways of working.


Scottish Government Cancer Plan actions: Recovery and overhaul: an action plan for cancer services include support for people by preparing them physically and psychologically for cancer treatment.

Recovery and overhaul: cancer services – action plan – (

The Scottish Government’s framework for supporting people through recovery and rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic calls for pre-adaptation services that will maximize resilience and promote overall health and well-being.

Framework to support people throughout recovery and rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic – (

Maggie’s has 25 years of experience providing free cancer support and information to centers across the UK. The eight Scottish centers are: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highlands, Aberdeen, Fife, Forth Valley, Lanarkshire and Dundee.

Anyone diagnosed with cancer and interested in pre-adaptation can speak to their cancer team or contact their local Maggie’s center.

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