GET PHYSICAL: Nella Del Castillo, Suzi Yuki and Caroline Kohl beef up their energy levels.
GET PHYSICAL: Nella Del Castillo, Suzi Yuki and Caroline Kohl beef up their energy levels.

Boost your post-cancer energy level

FEELING energy depleted after cancer treatment?

Most cancer survivors feel that way and struggle to get back into a life they knew before cancer.

The Strength ABC (After Breast Cancer) program is an evidence-based rehabilitative exercise program designed for breast cancer survivors.

You will have gained new friends to talk to about your experiences and leave with a smile on your face, as exercising releases endorphins which are "happy hormones”.

Physiotherapist Caroline Kohl, from Noosa Physiotherapy Centre, says she often hears her clients say: "I couldn't possibly do an exercise program now, I'm not fit enough yet.”

Sound familiar?

This is exactly when the program will help you move forwards.

The good news is you don't have to have a certain level of fitness to start the program.

Women of any age, any fitness level and as early as two months after surgery can participate.

Participants will learn how to safely and effectively progress through the exercises.

Supported all the way until they feel confident to continue the program by themselves in the comfort of their own home or of course continue to come to a class.

Most participants are eligible for a CDM (chronic disease management plan through Medicare) from their GP which will help pay for the program.

Clinical trials have shown that the program also greatly decreases the chance of the onset of lymphoedema. If lymphoedema is present the program will help to decrease lymphoedema exacerbations.

Cancer treatment is the most common cause of lymphoedema, affecting 20-30 per cent of breast cancer survivors.

Women who have undergone treatment and radiation for breast cancer are particularly susceptible.

Caroline says that not only breast cancer patients but also patients treated for melanoma, gynaecological and prostate cancer have been identified as being at risk.

The take home message: early detection is vital for a better outcome and a good chance to manage lymphoedema effectively.