WHY EXERCISE REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE
They say laughter is the best medicine, and we agree it certainly does help, but recent studies have proven that exercise really is the best medicine – especially in the fight against cancer.
Local Cancer Rehab Occupational Therapist (OT) and Lymphoedema Therapist, Kate Perkins, knows this to be true, as she helps women diagnosed with breast cancer to improve their quality of life and assist recovery through individualised exercise rehab programs.
Kate, who is a former competitive cyclist and triathlete and passionate surfer, said she draws on her lifelong love of sport, health and fitness to help her patients return to doing the things they love best following their cancer treatment.
"As a Certified Pinc & Steel Cancer Rehab OT, my role is to help people regain and maintain movement, strength, and endurance before, during and after cancer treatment, enabling them to return to regular activities as soon as possible," says Kate.
Breast cancer survivor and athlete, Margaret Beardslee says exercise was an essential part of her cancer recovery.
"Exercise has always helped me have good karma. It helped me feel normal through treatment for breast cancer. I needed to feel normal to cope and keep a positive attitude," explains Margaret.
And the experts agree.
In 2018, the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) advocated for 'exercise to be standard practice in cancer care and viewed as an adjuvant therapy to counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatments.'
COSA also recommends individual patient safety should be assessed by a health professional with knowledge of cancer, prior to exercise commencement.
Founder & Director, Pinc & Steel International, Lou James, says medical treatment may save lives, but cancer rehabilitation gives people their lives back.
"It is common for people to reduce their level of physical activity after a cancer diagnosis, and getting the appropriate support and encouragement from a cancer rehabilitation therapist during and after treatment is essential to help you return to doing the things you love,'' says Lou.
Kate says the role of a Cancer Rehab Therapist is to understand the needs of each individual patient, offer a safe rehabilitation environment and help patients understand what they can do, instead of being frustrated by what they can't.
"Showing someone what they can do gives them confidence and hope they can return to their normal daily activities. I've also seen women become stronger during and after their treatment than when they were first diagnosed," adds Kate.
"This is why I love what I do and know that exercise really is the best medicine."
Founder of Lymphatic Solutions, Kate Perkins, is a qualified Occupational Therapist (OT) and Certified Cancer Rehab Occupational Therapist who specialises in breast cancer rehabilitation, including the early detection and early intervention of breast cancer related lymphoedema.
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