- On 01/02/2021
A recent article published in The Age reported that cancer deaths in Australia have reduced by more than 20% between 1996 and 2015, with 107,000 lives save, due to improvements in both the screening and treatment in Australia.
It is very encouraging and promising for all who have been impacted by cancer to witness the gains that have been achieved in the fight against cancer in Australia. Ongoing research continue to improve the quality of access to screening and treatment available to people with cancer.
However, many cancer treatments often tend to come with numerous side effects, leaving many feeling extremely exhausted, low in energy and weak. Other common symptoms that people experience include nausea, vomiting, constipation and low blood levels.
Wouldn’t it be great if doctors could prescribe you a single ‘pill’ that could help reduce the severity of these treatment side effects, improve your mood, make you feel less tired? A ‘pill’ that could save you money in the long run?
Many oncologists, GPs and other healthcare professionals are now prescribing exercise as that ‘pill’ to enable people with cancer to fight cancer and live longer with cancer.
The American College of Sports Medicine has released new research highlighting exercise as a way to specifically lower the risk of seven common types of cancer (breast, colon, bladder, endometrial, kidney, oesophageal, stomach). In Australia, exercise is now part of standard cancer care, with the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia recommending exercise as part of their standard care practice guidelines.
Going through the journey of cancer is a long and tough one, with multiple medical appointments, treatment schedules and people’s lifestyle and schedules going through many changes in a short period of time. Many people find this very overwhelming and sometimes, having people around to support you can make it easier.
It can be hard to think about where to even begin with exercise when life is going well, let alone when navigating through the stresses of cancer. It can be difficult to have the energy to even step outside of your home for a walk. Many people are unsure about how to exercise in a way that is safe and effective during cancer treatment as well. As more people are living longer with cancer, cancer often presents as a chronic condition nowadays and many are having to live longer with the after effects of cancer and its treatment e.g. surgery, treatment-related cardiac issues, fatigue.
This is when having an oncology rehabilitation team around you to provide support and guidance can be of immense value. At MannaCare, our POWER (Program for Oncology Wellness and Exercise Rehabilitation) team consists of oncology trained physiotherapists and exercise physiologists that can help to provide support for the whole person with cancer, not just their cancer.
Through POWER, our physiotherapists and exercise physiologists have been able to provide a comprehensive assessment and tailor evidence-based exercise programs to each person’s level. Exercise advice and guidance is provided along the way based on each person’s cancer journey, treatment and personal medical history, with the aim of working towards what is important for each person with cancer at that time and improving their physical and psychosocial wellbeing. Exercise supervised by an oncology-trained physiotherapist and exercise physiologist is an excellent way to start so that exercises can be modified/progressed accordingly to how their body feels and any treatment changes through time.
As we take time to recognise World Cancer Day on the 4 February 2021, we celebrate all the research, organisations and services that have contributed tirelessly to achieve great improvements in cancer survivorship and care. Most of all, we celebrate all our cancer survivors for their ongoing strength and determination to fight cancer.
To find out more about POWER, please call 1300 90 20 23 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.