Health and fitness professionals certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) can now earn additional qualifications geared toward working with cancer survivors, including those currently undergoing treatment.

The new cancer specialty certification is available in collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS). Beginning in 2009, professionals who have already achieved the "gold standard" in certification through ACSM or another National Commission for Certifying Agencies-accredited certification organization can become an ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer (CET) by successfully completing an exam focused on exercise and cancer.

"Until now, there has been no certification offered for professionals working in fitness clubs that focuses on the special needs of cancer survivors," said Richard Cotton, M.S., ACSM's national director of certification programs. "Exercise can lead to faster recovery from some effects of cancer treatment, as well as increased quality of life during treatment, and thus underscores the importance of this new certification."

The certification is especially important to those suffering or recovering from cancer who may not know how to safely exercise or what exercises are best to aid in recovery. There are nearly 11 million cancer survivors in the United States.

"We are very excited to be able to point cancer survivors to specially trained fitness professionals who can help them exercise safely while undergoing cancer treatment and beyond," said Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., nutrition and physical activity director for the American Cancer Society. A recent study conducted by the Society indicated that depending on the cancer site, only 53-70 percent of survivors met minimum physical activity recommendations. "Having a cadre of fitness professionals who can help support cancer survivors in meeting their exercise goals will be a real plus."

For more information on the ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer specialty, visit The certification exam will be available at more than 4,300 testing centers worldwide.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

American College of Sports Medicine