Sunshine Coast residents undergoing cancer treatment may soon have access to an integrated exercise program in what will be a first for Queensland.
Exercise physiologist Curtis Forbes has spearheaded the initiative, which combines a safe and regular exercise space specifically for patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy.
It is hoped the program will be funded by the 2017 Waterlife event, which is being held on Lake Kawana in August.
Waterlife is an outrigging community and corporate event, which raises funds for Sunshine Coast charities Wishlist, endED and No Limits Adaptive Paddling.
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe says the organisation’s focus this year will be on raising $25,000 for the equipment required for Forbes’ exercise physiology service.
Forbes says, “I approached our hospital foundation Wishlist in the hopes of receiving funding for specialised equipment for this service at the Adem Crosby Centre inside the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Little did I know, my application would become the major cause of the 2017 Waterlife.’’
A growing body of research has linked enhanced patient outcomes with exercise during cancer treatment.
“It can help manage many of the common side-effects of treatment, speed up their return to usual activities, improve quality of life, and some research has shown that it can reduce the risk of cancer returning,’’ Forbes says.
“Over many years of working in cancer care, I’ve assisted patients to build or maintain their capacity to swim, surf, and play golf and lawn bowls.”
Physical activity also plays a role in the prevention of cancers including colorectal, breast and endometrial.
There is also emerging evidence associated with reduced risk of other cancers such as prostate, lung and ovarian cancer, Forbes adds.
“Just this year alone, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be one in two.
“Symbolically, Waterlife represents a fantastic opportunity for those who are fortunately enjoying good health and quality of life to catch up on any lost opportunities to exercise as well as having a splash and a laugh on a beautiful Sunshine Coast Saturday.”
Teams of five can enter the outrigging event at waterlife.org.au. It will be held on August 19.