Cancer rehab program recruiting survivors for Alberta study

CALGARY – Researchers from the Universities of Calgary and Alberta are recruiting survivors to take part in a 24-week exercise program in either Calgary or Edmonton. It’s part of a pilot study, called Alberta Cancer Exercise (ACE), that is looking to explore ways to improve the health and fitness of cancer survivors.

“The value of exercise is both in the physical outcomes and the psychosocial benefits,” said Nicole Culos-Reed, a kinesiology researcher with the University of Calgary. “We enhance their sense of control over engaging in something that is healthy for their bodies, we improve their social connections — because most of the program is group-based — and we enhance their overall quality of life.”

A pilot ACE program at the Saddletowne YMCA in northeast Calgary is currently recruiting breast cancer survivors but researchers are hoping to expand the program to other groups soon.

“We’re looking at adding head and neck cancer and neuro-oncology survivors as well,” Culos-Reed explained. “We’re also partnering through the City of Calgary to offer a separate prostate program at three sites this fall.”

Cancer survivor Gloria Vitalis completed treatment for breast cancer last fall and began taking part in the ACE program a few weeks ago.

“I feel better in my skin. I can do some of the exercises that I wasn’t able to do when I started originally.”

Participant Corinne Swanson said the program has given her a renewed sense of purpose.

For more information on how to participate in the program, email: wellnesslab@ucalgary.ca.