EXPHYS® Goes Pink! – Supporting Breast Cancer Month

EXPHYS® Goes Pink! – Supporting Breast Cancer Month

EXPHYS® supports Breast Cancer Awareness through the benefits of Exercise.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual initiative to educate and increase attention on the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.  With breast cancer being the most common cancer in Australia[i], this is an important initiative for EXPHYS®.  We ‘go pink’ for October Breast Cancer Month and continue to support our clients and customers through our specialised Exercise Oncology Program.

Exercise – benefiting cancer treatment effectiveness and survival rate.

We know that regular exercise is beneficial for good health and wellbeing.  For those diagnosed with breast cancer, there are many benefits to targeted and safe exercise during and after cancer treatment, including:

  • Increased cancer treatment effectiveness[ii]
  • Increased overall survival rate[ii]
  • Improved fatigue and energy levels[iii]
  • Reduced pain and lymphoedema
  • Improved overall body strength, confidence, mood, depression and anxiety[iv]
  • Less risk of fractures; as some breast cancer treatments can lower bone density

Of all the lifestyle modifications to reduce breast cancer recurrence, exercise has the most potent effect[v].

Amount of exercise required for maximum results

The ultimate goal is to achieve 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days of the week, accumulating 150 minutes of physical activity per week[vi].  This includes two to three resistance exercise sessions per week.

However, due to various reasons, this goal is simply not achievable for many people during their cancer care.  The shift of focus should therefore be on what can be achieved.  Whilst moderate intensity is preferable, if only low intensity exercise can be tolerated, then this is much better than no exercise at all[vii].

EXPHYS®’ Oncology Exercise Physiologists are skilled and experienced to ensure the appropriate individual program is developed for each person.  We expertly blend safety, client engagement, and best ‘return on investment’ decision making (both time and effort) for the client, to achieve optimal health outcomes.

A position statement released earlier this year by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), the peak association for exercise physiologists, concluded that there is no exact exercise prescription and total weekly volume of exercise that would be classed as evidence-based for all cancer patients[viii]. It also highlighted that targeted exercise prescription, including behaviour change advice and support, is required.

Factors for determining the type and amount of exercise.

EXPHYS® take an individualised approach to each client, including consideration of:

  • cancer type/stage
  • cancer treatment and side effects
  • precautions and contraindications
  • exercise history and preferences
  • functional capacity, and
  • fluctuating health

Outstanding results by the EXPHYS® team.

Our Oncology Exercise Physiologists are achieving some outstanding results that align with EXPHYS®’ purpose of Health for Life and Work.

The following are results of EXPHYS®’ Cancer Wellness Program.  Look at what can be achieved with the right approach:

  • Increased planned exercise volume by 159%, from levels below that considered ideal, to levels that exceed 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity exercise

  • Improved upper body strength, including lifting by 56%, pushing by 71%, and pulling by 53%. An improvement in pushing capacity is particularly important for breast cancer as chest strength is reduced.

  • Improved lower body strength by 125% and 51% across two different lower body functional tests

Improved lower body strength - Breast Cancer

  • Improved endurance by 43%, which is particularly important for stamina during a person’s cancer care, to improve participation and performance of life and work activities

  • Improvement in physical fatigue by 24%, general fatigue by 22%, and mental fatigue by 25%

Improved physical fatigue for Breast Cancer Patients

  • Improved Mental Wellbeing, by way of improving motivation by 27%, depression by 42%, anxiety by 56%, and stress by 45%

  • On average across our clients, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress were all mild to moderate at the start of the EXPHYS® program, and all improved to normal levels at completion

EXPHYS® provides a structured and individualised Cancer Wellness Program.  Find out more via our website or call us on 1300 853 345.

[i] Understanding Breast Cancer, Cancer Council Australia, 2018
[ii] https://nbcf.org.au/news/research-news
[iii] The Symptom Experience of Patients with Cancer, Laurie Stark, Cindy Tofthagen, Constance Visovsky and Susan C. McMillan
[iv] https://www.bcna.org.au/media/2129/bcna_exercise_and_breast_cancer_booklet_0.pdf

[v] Lifestyle modifications for patients with breast cancer to improve prognosis and optimize overall health, Julia Hamer and Ellen Warner
[vi] Physical activity, risk of death and recurrence in breast cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Acta Oncol 2015;54:635–54. Lahart IM, Metsios GS, Nevill AM, et al .
[vii] The Effect of Low-Volume High-Intensity Interval Training on Body Composition and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sultana RN, Sabag A, Keating SE, Johnson NA
[viii] The Exercise and Sports Science Australia position statement: Exercise medicine in cancer management

Hayes, Sandra C. et al. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Volume 22, Issue 11, 1175 – 1199