Innovative community-based cancer exercise program improves life for survivors

the ONA take:

Evidence of the benefits of exercise as a part of the recovery process after cancer treatment is plentiful. 

However, patients have special needs after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation treatments and unique challenges to engaging in exercise programs. A novel program under investigation in Canada is designed to meet those special needs.

A partnership between the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, and YMCA is exploring ways to improve the health and fitness of cancer survivors through an innovative exercise program: the Alberta Cancer Exercise (ACE) pilot study.

The goal of the study is to create more opportunities for cancer patients to exercise or get back into exercise in a comfortable environment.

Researchers found that cancer survivors do not want to go to hospital-based exercise programs; they prefer going to a community-based center as it focuses on wellness.

Eighty cancer survivors in Edmonton and Calgary will take part in the pilot study over 24 weeks. YMCA exercise specialists received training to understand the needs of survivors and those still receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Participants were split into two groups. The control group will receive standard care, and the treatment group will be assigned to supervised group exercise.

The researchers hope to launch a larger, 3-year program next spring. Cancer rates and survivorship are steadily increasing, and the need for programs that encourage patients with cancer and survivors to incorporate exercise into their lives will grow.

Proper motivation can encourage patients to exercise.
Evidence of the benefits of exercise as a part of the recovery process after cancer treatment is plentiful.
A partnership between the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services and YMCA, ACE is exploring ways of improving the health and fitness of cancer survivors through a first-of-its-kind strategy to support transition to community-based exercise programming.
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