By Lorna Golombick
Physiotherapist at Seed Physiotherapy
Did you know guided exercise is essential for people with or surviving cancer? The good news is that due to advances in treatment, many more people are surviving cancer and living longer than ever before, indicating that the cancer care teams are all doing a fantastic job. However, it must be noted that these cancer treatments affect your healthy cells as well and cancer survivors have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer recurrence or a new primary cancer.
However - The risk of every single one of these things can be reduced with physical activity!
Greater levels of exercise after cancer is associated with a reduction in cancer-related death by up to 50%. Also, exercise may also reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by up to 35% and exercise is the number one treatment for the most common and debilitating side effects of cancer treatment – including cancer-related fatigue. Lastly, it has been reported that people experience fewer and/or less severe treatment-related adverse effects and exercise during cancer treatments can improve the effectiveness and completion rates of chemotherapy treatment regimes.
However, getting started or knowing what to do, especially if you have never exercised before can be a barrier, so it is important to see a cancer rehab physio or cancer exercise specialist that can guide you on how to begin or progress. PINC and STEEL International have developed 4 programmes to help this very need – we currently have three of these four running in Australia. Please note that individualised care is essential first. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since your diagnosis as every single person’s cancer is different — even those diagnosed as the same type and stage. People respond very differently to treatment and need individualised rehabilitation to suit them.
Once you have been assessed, your PINC Cancer Rehab Physio can help you stay motivated – through your individual physio or group sessions, and setting a goal can help you stay committed to your chosen activities.
The PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation Australia is aiming to subsidise people with any type of cancer, at any age needing financial assistance to attend any of our cancer rehabilitation programmes. Currently, until we grow our funds further, we have subsidies available for our Next Steps group rehab programmes.
To find out about funding or nearest services available just go to our website – you can search by location or by the program you wish to attend. You are only a few clicks away from services designed to care, support and guide you through every stage of your treatment and recovery.
To find your closest provider or more information head to the PINC and STEEL website www.au.pincandsteel.com.