Why Physical Activity?
Over 1.6 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in the US each year. However, advances in screening and treatment have improved the survival of many cancer types, leading to a large and growing population of cancer survivors. While these advances are certainly welcomed, survivors may face many physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with their disease and related treatments, all of which can detrimentally affect an individual's quality of life. As such, researchers have great interest in identifying ways to minimize these challenges. One such way is physical activity.
In the last few decades, much work has been dedicated to the study of physical activity in cancer survivorship. Collectively, this work suggests that physical activity is safe both during and after cancer treatment and may result in improvements in physical functioning, disease-free survival, muscular strength, aerobic capacity, cancer-related fatigue, psychological factors, and quality of life.
"But if we already know physical activity works, why continue to study it?"
While collectively our information regarding the role of physical activity in cancer survivorship is encouraging, the vast majority of this work has taken place at hospitals and clinics associated with major academic centers and/or comprehensive cancer centers. Importantly, the majority of survivors that initially seek treatment typically do not do so at these institutions, but rather at community-based clinics and hospitals. Here at the CARES Lab, we assess the feasibility and effectiveness of physical activity programs for cancer survivors at the community level, right here in our own backyard.
Interested in participating in our current study (A Community-based Physical Activity Program for Cancer Survivors)? Learn about it below and please contact us here for more information.