9 Aug 2022
Mother, father, sister, brother, friend, uncle….We all know someone affected by cancer. With only one in three people diagnosed with cancer achieving remission within New Zealand each year1, it is one of our leading causes of death. Although the survival rate has improved with better treatment options available, many people continue to miss out on cancer rehabilitation due to a fundamental lack of awareness. With current research showing physical exercise has the ability to reduce the risk of cancer mortality and rate of recurrence by over a third2, it is clear all cancer survivors should have equitable access to cancer rehabilitation. Often those who are recently diagnosed are not made aware of what resources are available to improve their function, manage their pain and improve their overall quality of life. We need people to live more and fear less after their cancer diagnosis, even with advanced cancer.
Pain, overwhelming fatigue, weakness, lymphodema and impaired mobility are common issues after cancer treatments. Cancer rehabilitation is vital to prevent unnecessary disability and suffering, poor health, depression, anxiety and unemployment. With statistics suggesting 70% of those diagnosed with cancer struggle with the physical side effects for up to 10 years after treatment3, evidence shows rehabilitation helps survivors to overcome their individual challenges, reach achievable goals and return to participation within their community.
Unfortunately however, this not always so simple, as cancer survivors often have an increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and new cancers, making this transition difficult. Despite research showing that increased exercise can reduce or even reverse the effects of many of these conditions, one to two thirds of cancer survivors are inactive.4 For this reason, cancer rehabilitation aims to get survivors physically active and to live more and fear less.
Pinc & Steel is an international programme for cancer survivorship that started in New Zealand in 2005. It is committed to supporting people affected by any type of cancer, through all stages of their treatment and recovery. Habit Health is aligned with Pinc & Steel through our specially trained oncology physiotherapists; within the Greater Wellington Region (Wellington CBD, Hutt Valley and Kapiti). Our physiotherapists work alongside incredible individuals as they recover from cancer treatment, offering guidance and support every step of the way.
Habit Health supports people in their community to optimise health and live their best life.
To make an appointment with one of our supportive Habit Health physios, book here.