It can be easy to assume that once you’ve survived cancer, life simply returns to normal, but what you do after cancer is just as important, if not more.
Cancer Council offers a range of support services for patients throughout their cancer journey, but we are aware that support is also needed to adjust to life after cancer
To meet this need, a free pilot program, Healthy Living after Cancer, led by the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland in partnership with Cancer Council NSW, VIC, SA and WA, was created.
The free program was designed to help people who have completed treatment for cancer and wanted help to make healthy lifestyle changes.
A Healthy Living after Cancer Consultant will work with you to make healthy lifestyle changes by setting goals for physical activity and healthy eating.
The program offers 12 telephone health coaching calls over a six-month period and can help you get more active, eat better and feel better. Throughout the pilot, participants have achieved an average of:
- A two-point decrease in their Body Mass Index (BMI).
- An improvement in daily vegetable consumption from an average of three serves per day to four serves per day.
- An improvement in overall physical fitness levels.
Current participant, Alexander George, says: “This program has helped me feel happier, my mental stress has decreased, I feel more confident, and my weight has dropped by eight kilos. I have to thank my healthy diet for this.”
Past participant Robert Frank appreciates the accessibility to the program. He travels across Western Australia in a caravan with his wife, so it can be hard to access services. The Healthy Living after Cancer Program is just a call away, all you need is a phone.
Through the program, cancer survivors can develop good habits of eating well and exercising regularly. Tailored health coaching motivates participants to gradually work up their strength and provides a range of advice from proper strength training to useful stretching.
Past participant, Peter Dunn, says: “The program gives you good council and direction. Having a workbook that allows you to look back where you started and see how far you’ve come. I don’t really think much of my weight, but looking back I can see that I’ve lost some kilograms.”
Recruitment for the three-year pilot program is open until September 30 and is available to adults living in NSW, VIC, SA, ACT, TAS, WA and NT, who have been treated for any type of cancer and have completed active treatment.
Healthy Living after Cancer Consultant, Liz Hing and Cancer Information and Support Services Assistant, Barbora Pekarova