Cancer patient exercise program delivers positive results

Cancer patients across the Coffs Coast are enjoying the benefits of getting active with a new cancer-specific exercise program delivering positive health results.

Participants in the eight-week CAN Ex program undertake weekly supervised group exercise sessions with ongoing support and education to aid their recovery and encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

The joint initiative between the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Coffs Harbour and Mid North Coast Physiotherapy has helped participants to improve their strength, flexibility, fitness and fatigue levels.

Mid North Coast Cancer Institute Nursing and Service Development Manager Jill Harrington said the project was making a difference in the lives of local cancer patients.

“We are delighted with the results of this project.  In particular, the results regarding fatigue as this is one of the main challenges that patients on chemotherapeutic treatments experience,” Ms Harrington said.

“This MNCCI initiative involves patients taking back some control and it is lovely that the patient can see the results of their participation.”

Research shows that the introduction of exercise alongside traditional cancer treatment methods, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can improve the effectiveness of these treatments, reduce adverse side effects and the risk of cancer recurrence, and improve immune function.

Mid North Coast Physiotherapy Director Aaron Hardaker said the program had delivered significant results for its recently completed participants, mirroring the outcomes seen in large research studies.

“The results have been really positive,” Mr Hardaker said. “The most impressive part has been the positive changes in attitude of participants to exercising throughout the duration of the program.”

The program is available for all new cancer patients through referral from their oncologist or GP. For more information, contact Paul Killey at the MNCCI Paul.Killey@health.nsw.gov.au or Aaron Hardaker at Mid North Coast Physiotherapy aaron@mncphysio.com.au

Anyone wanting to donate to the program can contact MNCLHD Corporate Relations Coordinator Sharon Fuller on 0417 982 167.