Benefits of Cancer Wellness Programs
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating and may leave you feeling helpless and alone. With the journey that lies ahead, it's important that a strong support system is available to you, no matter the cancer type.
Goals of Cancer Wellness Programs:
The goal of an exercise-based cancer wellness program is to show that exercise during and after treatment is effective and important to cancer patients. “People get stronger, have better endurance, and develop a higher quality of life with more energy and less depression,” Tom says. By adding exercise, patients going through chemotherapy might begin to feel less fatigue.
Exercise is not the only aspect of such programs. In conjunction with physical activity, there are classroom topics discussed to help you not only live better, but help with disease management.
Sample program topics include:
- Proper nutrition for cancer patients
- Tai chi
- Guided imagery
- Life after cancer
Related: What is Guided Imagery?
Social and Physical Well-Being:
Social support is a large aspect of cancer wellness programs. “Individuals who have already gone through something can share their experience with someone who is about to experience it,” Tom explains. By being able to hear from someone who has successfully gone through treatment and overcome cancer, it serves as positive reinforcement for current patients.
Research shows there is higher survivorship for people who exercise during and after treatment. “While there’s no promise you’ll live longer, research generally has shown survivorship statistics are better,” Tom says. With the possibility of such positive outcomes, it’s important for patient’s to hear directly from their physician about cancer wellness programs and their benefits. “When your doctor is telling you to do something, you’re more likely to follow through,” he adds.
For many programs you will need to have participation approval from your oncologist, surgeon, or primary care physician. Cancer wellness program staff members will ask for additional details about your condition prior to your participation.
Conditions they may ask about include:
- Cancer type
- Cancer stage
- Current treatments
Whether you're recently diagnosed, midway through treatment, or newly cancer free, these programs are designed for you and your success.
Last Updated: December 16, 2013