CANCER patients are being helped back to full fitness with an innovative exercise referral programme being rolled out across Salford.
CAN-Move Salford is a collaboration between NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Salford Community Leisure, which introduces physical activity into the recovery of cancer patients and enables them to apply this into their long-term lifestyle moving forward.
The project was initially introduced for those Salford residents being treated for breast, bowel and prostate cancer at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. However, from April 2016, this will now be extended to all residents, who are registered with a Salford GP and have had treatment for any type of cancer at any local hospital.
Those residents referred onto the programme are offered a 12 week supported fitness programme, they receive a free one-month gym pass and have both a six and 12 month follow-up to ensure that they are maintaining their fitness levels after the initial programme has finished.
So far over 220 Salford residents have benefitted from the programme, and it is anticipated that from April 2016 this number will rise to 500. There are around 1000 new cancer diagnosis in the city every year, and the programme will help over 50 per cent of those diagnosed.*
Gemma Kenney, who has benefitted from CAN-Move Salford, said:
“I am currently receiving treatment for breast cancer and fibromyalgia and as a result of the treatment I struggled with both fatigue and a loss of upper body strength.
“As a child I used to love running and this was therefore introduced as part of the programme, starting initially with just a short five minute jog. I am now able to run for 20 – 30 minutes and train for three hours in my local gym every week.
“CAN-Move has given me the overall fitness and confidence to take part in a number of sporting events including the Race for Life, which I have now taken part in three times and most recently the Great Manchester Run, which I managed to complete in just over an hour. I would have never considered taking part in these events, if it weren’t for the programme.”
“The gym scheme has helped me cope with my flare ups due to my recovery much better and I have been able to modify my exercise routine when I am having a particularly bad day.
“The programme improved my outlook on life and strengthened my positivity. Even on days when I am feeling particularly low, going to the gym really helps work through it, thanks to what I have learnt and what I've been shown.”
Dr Steven Elliot, clinical lead for long-term conditions (cancer and community based care) at Salford CCG said:
“Research suggests that physical activity after cancer treatment is linked to a better quality of life, reduced side effects and a lower risk of the cancer returning. Speaking as someone who has received treatment for cancer himself I can personally testify to its huge benefits in aiding recovery.
“Thanks to early diagnosis and better treatment, many people are living with the long-term effects of cancer, and these people are highly motivated to improve their lifestyle but often need guidance and support.
“CAN-Move Salford ensures that physical activity should be a key part of the recovery process. It supports people in not just introducing but maintaining a level of physical activity to aid in the recovery process.”
For more information on CAN-Move Salford and how to be referred, contact Kirsty Rowlinson on 0161 778 0540 or via email Kirsty.firstname.lastname@example.org.