University of Brighton launches cancer rehabilitation programme in Eastbourne

The University of Brighton has launched an exercise-based cancer rehabilitation programme in Eastbourne.

Designed to help individuals with or recovering from cancer, the scheme, entitled Active Recovery, has been developed by experts from the University and Freedom Leisure in consultation with Cancer United’s CU Fitter™ initiative. Funding has been generously supplied by the cancer charity Macmillan via Albion in the Community and a University of Brighton ECHO grant.

Harrison helping Active Recovery client David with his exercises in the university's gym

Harrison with Active Recovery client David

Classes are run weekly by Stephanie Wadlow from Freedom Leisure and Harrison Collier-Bain, an Applied Exercise Physiology MSc student at the University. The programme aims to help cancer patients lead more active, healthier and happier lives during every stage of their treatment by improving physical fitness, psychological well-being and quality of life, maintaining a healthy weight, managing side effects of cancer treatment and reducing risk factors for cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases.

The group sessions focus on cardiovascular, strength and mobility exercises. The class provides a fun, social setting with group support and specialist advice. Participants contribute to the funding of the project by paying £5 per session, with an initial consultation cost of £15. The first class is free.

Dr Louisa Beale, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at the University’s School of Sport and Service Management and one of the experts behind Active Recovery, said: “I’m really pleased that we are now able to help people with a cancer diagnosis who live in Eastbourne and the surrounding areas to improve their fitness, health and wellbeing through our exercise rehabilitation programme.”

Leading a physically active lifestyle both during and after cancer is linked to an improvement in many of the adverse effects of cancer and its treatments. An active lifestyle helps overcome fatigue, anxiety and depression, whilst protecting the heart, lungs and bones. In some cases, being physically active has been shown to slow disease progression, improve survival and reduce the chance of recurrence [1]. Despite these benefits, only 23% of people living with cancer are active to recommended levels [2].

The focus of Active Recovery is now on promoting the programme to expand the number of participants benefitting from the service and increasing the amount of active cancer survivors in the local area.

To request more information or a referral form, email Stephanie.wadlow@freedom-leisure.co.uk or call 07919 398317 or 01273 643704.

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1Thomas RJ, Holm M, Al-Adhami A. Physical activity after cancer: An international review of the literature. BJMP. 1st ed. 2014 Mar 2;7(708):1–7.

2NHS. Quality of Life of Cancer Survivors in England – Report on a pilot survey using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS). London: Crown Copyright; 2012.

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