The Letterkenny event was founded in 2011 and was the largest first time Relay event held worldwide and the largest relay event in Europe in 2012.
Cancer is an illness that has touched the lives of everyone.
I would hazard a guess that there isn’t anyone reading this column who doesn’t know someone affected by cancer at some stage or another.
The following information is taking from Macmillan Cancer Support; it is resource that I have found very informative on topics of health for before, during and after cancer treatment.
Until recently cancer was seen as something you were either cured of or which killed you.
This has now changed and for many of the two million people now living with cancer it has become a long term condition – but they are not necessarily living well.
After treatment, learning to live with cancer is tough.
Severe fatigue, depression, or reduced muscle strength can be immediate effects.
People may not realise that heart problems and osteoporosis in later life are unfortunate consequences of cancer treatment.
So it is incredible to think that just by taking the simple step of getting involved in physical activity cancer patients could possibly be helping themselves to overcome or even prevent these problems.
What’s more, in some cases it can significantly reduce the risk of dying from the disease.
It seems so simple, but this idea is still news to many healthcare professionals and certainly to people living with cancer.
Cancer survivors are first and foremost people – and they have the same motivations as other people their age.
• Spending time with the grandkids.
• Spending time with friends or their other half.
• Losing weight.
• Feeling better and living longer.
• Taking pride in still being able to get active.
• On top of that they’re motivated to improve their quality of life because of the issues from having a chronic condition.
Many of these motivations would be the same if they were suffering from diabetes or cardiac disease.
They want to deal with these problems, but don’t necessarily realise that physical activity will help them with these conditions.
• Loss of confidence.
• Weight gain.
• Fatigue/ tiredness.
• Joint pain.
• Improve well-being.
• Improve recovery.
• Help cope with stress of treatment and disease.
• Get mind off disease.
• A friendly and helpful instructor.
• Friendly/ welcoming/ fun environment.
Lastly they have cancer-specific motivations for being active, for example
• Managing their cancer – preventing reoccurrence.
• Gain control over cancer and their life.
• Spend time with people like them.
• Women who’ve had surgery for breast cancer often want to improve the flexibility
around their shoulder because the surgery causes it to be very tight.
The biggest motivation under this heading, and perhaps overall is that physical activity can help stop the cancer from coming back for some types of cancer (particularly breast and prostate cancer).
There is evidence to support the role of physical activity for the following stages of the cancer care pathway:
During cancer treatment – physical activity improves, or prevents the decline of physical function without increasing fatigue.
After cancer treatment – physical activity helps recover physical function.
During and after cancer treatment – physical activity can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and mortality for some cancers and can reduce the risk of developing other long term conditions.
Advanced cancer – physical activity can help maintain independence and wellbeing.
The type of activities that you can do is dependent on the type of cancer that you have and where you are in your stage of treatment/recovery, but physical activity has been shown to have great benefits for people of all stages of treatment.
If you have any question on this article or for getting a tailored program to help you reach your goals, please contact me through the link below.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Personal Training and Performance