Exercise & Cancer #1

July 5, 2018

Did you know in there is estimated to be 138,321 of new cancer cases diagnosed in 2018? With improvements in research measures, data has indicated between the period of 2009-2013, Australian’s that were diagnosed had a 68% chance of survival rate.

In May 2018 the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia released a position statement on exercise and cancer care. It’s primary recommendations were:

  • Exercise is to be incorporated in the standard of practice for cancer care, and to be viewed as adjunct therapy to help counteract side effects of cancer and its treatment;
  • Members of the multidisciplinary cancer team should promote physical activity and recommend that people with cancer follow exercise guidelines;
  • For best practice cancer care is to include a referral to an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care.

Exercise before, during and post cancer treatments has been shown to be a highly beneficial part of the individual’s recovery. During treatment exercise can benefit both physical and mental health, assisting with side effects, speeding up return to active daily living tasks and improving your quality of life.

When participating in exercise recommendations specify to start slowly, gradually building to an intensity that is comfortable, achievable and beneficial. For example, start with walking 10 minutes a day, and listen to your body to allow for correct recovery protocols. To compliment your cardiovascular training, regular strength training has shown great long term benefits to recovery. Throughout this period of improving activity levels, you are likely to experience slower days in comparison to other days where you may have loads of energy! To ensure you are on the right track, your Exercise Physiologist is able to tailor appropriate exercise for both the good and bad days.

It is important that you choose an activity you enjoy and you are going to continue to participate in long term. This might be a social class like dancing, a weights session or just going for a daily walk. It is important to always warm up to ensure your muscles are ready to work and your heart rate is up slightly to prepare the body for exercise. Exercise is followed by a cool-down to return your heart rate and blood pressure to resting levels.

Before commencing any type of exercise it is important to discuss your plans with your GP to ensure you are safe to do so. Your GP will be able to make recommendations and direct you toward your closest qualified Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist to assist in commencing your journey with exercise therapy.

Stay tuned to find out some types of exercises and tips to staying on track! For further information about cancer programs offered in your state visit https://www.cancer.org.au/

If you have any further questions regarding cancer and exercise, please feel free to call us so we can discuss appropriate exercise therapy for you moving forward. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

SA (08) 8262 9111

NT (08) 8981 2886