What is it?
A website providing resources regarding exercise for people living with and beyond cancer.
Why is it needed?
There is persuasive evidence that exercise and physical activity during and after cancer is associated with improved physical and psychological well-being, reduced side effects and risks of treatment, decreased cancer-related fatigue, enhanced self-esteem and possibly reduced risk of recurrence, and improved survival.
Clinical Oncology Society of Australia guidelines have recently called for exercise to be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care and to be viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment. There is a move to do similar in the UK.
A survey of 432 ‘sporty people who have or have had cancer’* found that:
- 51% of respondents were given no information regarding exercise during their cancer treatment
- Only 13% of respondents were given specific information regarding exercise tailored to their athletic ability
- 72% of respondents felt they were not provided with sufficient information regarding exercise after their cancer treatment
- Only 11% of respondents felt it was easy to find information regarding exercise and cancer
- 81% of respondents answered yes and 14% answered maybe to the question “Would you have found a website aimed at helping sporty people undergoing cancer treatment useful?”
Dr Lucy Gossage is an oncology doctor working in the NHS. She has a first-class degree and a PhD in cancer medicine, both from Cambridge University. She is also a professional triathlete with 11 Ironman wins and 2 world championship top-ten finishes to her name. She is developing a variety of projects around exercise oncology including ‘Move against Cancer, 5km your way’, an initiative to encourage patients, staff, friends and families to attend a monthly-parkrun together.
Liz is a Consultant Breast Surgeon and an amateur triathlete who was diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2015. She struggled to find advice about training during treatment and used social media to find other athletic cancer patients to inspire her to do a triathlon during chemo. She writes an award-winning blog about her experiences and gives key-note lectures all over the world about improving the quality of patient care, digital technology and exercise, amongst other topics. Her TEDx talk led to her being nominated for a a 'Woman of the Year' award in 2016. She has just co-authored 'The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer' with Professor Trisha Greenhalgh.
Gill Fullen has represented GB as an age grouper in duathlon and triathlon for the past seven years and has a collection of gold medals to show for it. Gill has also raced the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii twice, making the podium on the second occasion and with another trip to the Big Island on the cards for 2018. In 2016 Gill was diagnosed with breast cancer. She continued to race internationally prior to treatment and then trained and raced locally throughout her surgery and chemotherapy. Within 6 months of finishing chemo Gill was back with 3 major race wins under her belt, a new IM pb and ladies course record at the full Outlaw Triathlon. Gill is passionate about helping others with cancer to continue to be active during and after treatment, acting as a positive role model and helping people access the information which will help them achieve the best outcome in their situation.
Tanja is a full time triathlon coach with a MSc degree in Sports & Exercise Science from Birmingham University. She worked as a senior project manager in Pharmaceutical Exhibitions before becoming a professional Triathlete. She competed in 2 European Championships and went on to compete as an elite professional cyclist in 2 world championships also winning a stage of the Women’s Tour de France. Her father was diagnosed in 2004 with Pancreatic Cancer and after 2 years of treatment he survived for a further 13 years until he was diagnosed again and sadly passed away. As chairman of the board at Pancreatic Cancer UK, he helped to move the charity forwards, raise more awareness of the disease in parliament, and help other patients in their fight to beat cancer. He continued to exercise during and post treatment and gained selection to represent GB in age group triathlon and rode from London to Krakow.
Brenda completed treatment for cancer in December 2018. She is also a doctor in Oxford who has spent over 20 years working on the NHS frontline. Brenda possesses a wealth of advocacy and lobbying experience around improving health outcomes in marginalized communities and has an interest in use of emergent digital technologies to enhance health and wellbeing.
A keen wild swimmer and trail runner (with no particular talent for either!), she speaks to power of physical activity in learning to live with a cancer diagnosis and how staying active can improve quality of life.
Clare is a Cancer Specialist Physiotherapist by background, who has worked as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, including sports at all levels, for 19 years and in the field of cancer for 10 years. She has an MSc degree in Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative Care and End of Life from Southampton University. She has also worked as a Research Fellow on a multi-site trial, PROSPER, a study looking at early physiotherapy intervention post breast cancer and has set up exercise classes for people affected by cancer and worked in many advisory capacities both face to face and online, including for Macmillan - Ask the Expert. She is passionate about ensuring that people affected by cancer, no matter what their diagnosis or prognosis, are able to continue activity whether that be for leisure or competitively. Clare has also written national patient information and reviewed a number of charitable documentation around physical activity. She has sat on a number of national strategic working groups informing the future care for cancer. Clare herself is passionate about exercise and sport and has competed as a swimmer, rower and more recently a triathlete at 70.3 distance.