The Sunshine Coast could soon be home to the first integrated Exercise Physiology Service for cancer patients in the state.
Sunshine Coast Exercise Physiologist Curtis Forbes has spearheaded the new initiative which combines a safe and regular exercise space specifically for patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy.
“I approached our hospital foundation Wishlist in the hopes of receiving funding for specialised equipment for this service at the Adem Crosby Centre inside the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital,” Mr Forbes said.
“Little did I know, my application would become the major cause of the 2017 Waterlife event next month, which is hoping to raise $25,000 for this comprehensive service.”
Termed ‘exercise medicine’, a growing body of research has linked enhanced patient outcomes with exercise during cancer treatment.
“It can help manage many of the common side effects of treatment, speed up their return to usual activities, improve quality of life, and some research has shown that it can reduce the risk of cancer returning,” Mr Forbes added.
“Over many years of working in cancer care, I’ve assisted patients to build or maintain their capacity to swim, surf, play golf and lawn bowls.
“I’ve welcomed individuals to my clinic who has been in wheelchairs and weeks later seen them return to walking in the mornings at Alexandra Headland, the Mooloolaba spit, the boardwalk at Bulcock Beach. I’ve even known numerous individuals who have climbed Mt Coolum while going through treatment.”
Mr Forbes said physical activity also played an important role in the prevention of cancer including colorectal, breast and endometrial cancer, as well as emerging evidence associated with reduced risk of other cancers such as prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.
“Just this year alone, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be one in two,” he said.
“Symbolically, Waterlife represents a fantastic opportunity for those who are fortunately enjoying good health and quality of life to catch up on any lost opportunities to exercise as well as having a splash and a laugh on a beautiful Sunshine Coast Saturday.”
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the Queensland-first program was a perfect fit for the Waterlife fundraising event at Lake Kawana on August 19.
“This will be our second Waterlife event which features a day of outrigging on the beautiful Lake Kawana,” Ms Rowe said. “Waterlife is a fantastic community and corporate event which promotes healthy living and raises funds for three charities – Wishlist, endED and No Limits Adaptive Paddling.
“As Curtis has mentioned, Wishlist’s focus this year will be funding $25,000 worth of equipment for the Exercise Physiology Service and importantly, helping those facing the toughest fight of their lives.
“Cancer affects a phenomenal number of families on the Sunshine Coast and it’s a cause very close to our foundation. We would love to see as many people out on the water in support of Waterlife so we can fund this innovative and vital service.”
Teams of five can enter the outrigging event at www.waterlife.org.au.
“You can be a beginner, novice or expert – everyone is welcome for this fun day out. Just register and we’ll supply the outrigger and steerer on the day,” Ms Rowe added.
Waterlife is proudly sponsored by RGD Group, Mosaic Property, Maroochy RSL and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council grants program.