WHY CANCER REHABILITATION?
Helping people thrive after a cancer diagnosis
Being disease free – does not necessarily mean being free of your disease.
Why is exercise important for cancer patients?
Cancer treatment and its side-effects can affect your ability to work, your physical, emotional and social wellbeing and your long-term health. Physiotherapy can help you throughout your cancer journey whether that be pre-op, post-op or well into the future.
It needs to be understood that while surviving cancer itself is a difficult journey, suffering from additional complications related to inactivity can make recovery more difficult, can affect cancer survival itself and can lead to serious lifelong complications.
The key is to avoid inactivity > “motion is lotion”, move your body!!
Individualised exercise is becoming increasingly important in cancer care and is key to facilitating faster recovery, reducing the impacts of treatment-related side effects such as pain, fatigue and loss of muscle strength. Exercise also reduces the likelihood of secondary problems in the future such as heart disease, osteoporosis or cancer recurrence.
What is the link between exercise and cancer survival?
A recent study has shown exercise helped protect the heart function of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. This study showed that “the people with cancer who benefit the most from a structured exercise program, are actually those who are the most tired, distressed and physically impaired,”
Last year, studies continued to demonstrate that exercise reduces cancer-specific mortality/death by up to 44%, lowers cancer recurrence by up to 35% and that patients experienced fewer and/or less severe treatment-related side effects.
Majority of women are not achieving the recommended amount of exercise per week!!
You should be aiming for 150 minutes of exercise a week.
Phases of the PINC Program Rehabilitation
The PINC Program is broken into 4 phases;
- Pre-operative/before surgery phase >
- Designed to help you before surgery and/or cancer treatment
- Creating a plan to ensure a smooth transition through your cancer journey
- Post-operative/after surgery >
- Help to improve healing, strength and movement after recent surgery (mastectomy, reconstruction etc)
- Prevent complications with scar healing, lymphoedema, fatigue
- Recovery phase >
- While you’re undergoing chemotherapy/radiation therapy
- Aiming to improve energy levels, and help you manage fatigue
- Pilates based exercises – focus on strength, stretching, general movement (this can be done lying down or sitting if you’re feeling too tired or sore to exercise)
- Fitness phase >
- Once you have finished cancer treatments
- Continue to progress Pilates exercise to maintain your physical and mental health into the future
Who needs cancer rehabilitation and how can you get it?
Every individual is affected by cancer in different ways, therefore an individualized program is ideal! You can become a part of the PINC Program at any stage of your cancer journey – whether you have had or will have surgery or chemotherapy or if you received cancer treatment many years ago, all women are at risk of suffering the side effects of cancer treatment.
Speak to your doctor or give us a call at Physio Group South West to receive more information about how the PINC Cancer Program can help you improve your day to day life!!