A new Cancer Council NSW health and exercise program reviewed by the University of Newcastle is coming to Albury for the first time in April.
ENRICHing Survivorship is a free eight-week program providing people recovering from cancer with nutritional information, physical activity advice and guidance in adjusting to life following treatment.
Research into a trial found a year after the program, 67 percent of participants continued to improve their level of physical activity and 46 percent maintained their weight.
Cancer Council NSW exercise physiotherapist Veronica Scriven will co-facilitate the program with a dietitian, at the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.
She said up until recently there wasn’t significant evidence to support the role of exercise and nutrition in recovery from the disease.
“It very much used to be the old-school medical model of ‘stay in bed and rest’,” Ms Scriven said.
“Now we know exercise in particular has a really good effect on people being able to recover and manage their side effects.
“Many patients, once they’re having treatment, notice different side effects like weight loss, malnutrition and even things like reduced strength and balance.
“A healthy diet and physical activity have been shown to enhance the physical and psychosocial health of cancer survivors and reduce their risk of cancer recurrence.”
Ms Scriven said people often questioned what levels of activity were safe – the exact reason for the program.
“When we encourage people to start exercising when they’re still going through treatment, it can be quite a shock,” she said.
“It’s important they’re getting the most up-to-date information.
“The other big benefit is it creates a support network for people – everyone’s cancer journey is different but there’s a lot of similarities.”
To participate in the free program, people must be over 18, be past active treatment and physically able to participate.
Carers and friends are welcome.
- The first Albury program will run from April 4 to May 24. Those interested can register at www.cancercouncil.com.au/ENRICH