Cancer support program to continue in Grampians region

TREATMENT: Allied health assistant Nicole Nicholson helps Stawell resident Roger Phillis with treatment.

TREATMENT: Allied health assistant Nicole Nicholson helps Stawell resident Roger Phillis with treatment.

Grampians residents affected by cancer will be able to access a second comprehensive survivorship education, exercise and wellness program over eight weeks, starting from Thursday, October 12. 

The Exercise and Supportive Survivorship Care program will provide people who have finished their active cancer treatment with two-hour education and exercise sessions delivered at multiple sites in the region by health professionals.

The education sessions will be delivered at each site using video conferencing to link participants together.

The Cancer Council Victoria initiative will be available at Stawell, Horsham and Warracknabeal- assisting participants to increase fitness and strength, improve ability to perform daily tasks, learn coping strategies and identify support services.

Head of strategy and support at Cancer Council Victoria Meg Chiswell, said the program had already provided invaluable support and information for residents diagnosed with cancer in the area.

“We hear regularly that cancer patients can have trouble adjusting to their ‘new normal’ after active treatment ceases,” she said. 

“This program will arm people with the tools they need to get back into exercise and to deal with changes in their lives at home and at work.

“Research shows us that exercise rehabilitation programs help cancer survivors manage pain, reduce fatigue and improve quality of life; while group-based education programs develop resilience and empower patients to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Stawell resident Roger Phillis participated in the first program- he said he needed help with some of the challenges following his treatment.

“When I finished treatment, I knew I needed help,” he said. 

“I was so alone in the world- This program helped me make new friends, learn to breathe better, exercise and achieve my goal of cooking for myself again.

“My next goal is to mow the lawn- You get so much happiness out of achieving your goals.”

Stawell Regional Health chief executive Liz McCourt said the hospital continued to deliver a high quality service to residents. 

“This program helps us to continue delivering the best quality care to people living with cancer, and we are proud to be a partner in delivering this great initiative,” she said. 

The program will be available to Grampians residents at Stawell Regional Health, Rural Northwest Health and Wimmera Health Care Group.

Those interested in more information can contact Stawell Regional Health on 5358 8630.