Nationally, there are 15.5 million cancer survivors. Of these, more than 95% experience side effects that negatively affect their quality of life, whether it be fatigue, cardiac abnormalities, or range of motion limitations. Exercise has long been considered a safe and effective way to manage treatment related side effects. However, less than 5% of cancer survivors are ever referred to, or participate in exercise oncology programs.
Maple Tree Cancer Alliance has developed a successful model of individualized exercise oncology. We currently have offices across Ohio and Pennsylvania, and are poised to expand nationally over the next 3-5 years.
Upon referral, patients complete a minimum of 12 weeks of prescribed, individualized exercise that includes cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility components. The intensity level for the cardiovascular exercise varies depending on the current treatment status and training level of the patient. Generally, it will range from 30-45% of the individual’s predicted VO2max, to protect patient immunity during treatment. Strength training involves a full body workout, with emphasis on all major muscle groups. Machines, free weights, and tubing are all employed. Patients work up to completing 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise. Flexibility training includes static stretching of all major muscle groups for 15-20 seconds at the completion of each workout. Patients meet with a trainer a minimum of once a week, and are given instructions on how to remain active at home. We recommend comprehensive fitness assessments be completed every 12-weeks to monitor for program effectiveness and to allow the exercise oncology instructor to make changes to the exercise program as needed.
Our program demonstrates improved treatment outcomes, reduced symptom severity, and cost savings for the patient, payer, and providers, alike. For more information on partnership opportunities with Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, or to sit for our nationally recognized Exercise Oncology Instructor certification, join our email list on our website. Together, we can change the way that cancer is treated in this country!