Research

Exercise buddies unite against cancer

woman uses exercise bike stock image

The benefits of peer-supported exercise regimes for survivors of breast, colon and prostate cancer are being studied by University of Queensland researchers.

More than one million Australians are cancer survivors, living with a high risk of disease recurrence, and in some cases a reduced functional capacity and poor quality of life.

UQ researchers are looking for participants who have had prostate, breast and/or colorectal cancer, are at least one month post-surgery/radiation/chemotherapy, and are not anticipating undergoing further treatment.

Exercise physiologist and PhD Candidate Ms Chloe Salisbury from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences said that participants would be provided with a period of supervised training before embarking on a one year exercise regime.

“We hope to prove that cancer survivors who exercise with a buddy will maintain their regime more than those who exercise alone,” Ms Salisbury said.

With the expected lifetime economic cost of cancer to the healthcare system estimated at $1 million per case, there is an urgent need to reduce the increasing burden of the disease.

“Benefits of exercise for cancer survivors include improved cardio-respiratory fitness, body composition, psychological wellbeing and quality of life.

While there is evidence that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve quality of life for cancer survivors, Ms Salisbury said maintaining an exercise regime can be challenging.

Funded by a National Health Medical Research (NHMRC) grant, and conducted in conjunction with Cancer Council Queensland, the study will evaluate whether having peer support can help cancer survivors maintain regular exercise over a 12-month period.

“This study could provide a cost-effective approach to encouraging the uptake and maintenance of exercise for survivors as well as providing the subsequent health benefits.”

For further information or to discuss your suitability for participation, please contact Ms Chloe Salisbury, chloe.salisbury@uq.edu.au, 0428 245 633.

Source: UQ

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