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Survivorship Programs

In 2015 the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation introduced
a new series of programs for survivorship.

There are a number of emotional, physical, practical and social challenges that cancer survivors may face once they finish cancer treatment, including the late effects of cancer treatment and the fear of cancer returning.

A variety of definitions of cancer survivorship have emerged in recent years. Each of these emphasises the ongoing unique needs of individuals who have experienced a diagnosis of cancer. In Australia, survivorship is generally considered to be the phase after completing initial treatment.

Common health and support issues for cancer survivors include:

  • Psychosocial issues, including anxiety, depression, isolation and negative self-image;
  • Physical effects from cancer and its treatments, including pain, musculoskeletal issues, fatigue, breathlessness, cognitive deficits, infertility and sexual dysfunction;
  • Secondary cancers;
  • Fear of recurrence or secondary cancers.

We run three programs under this Survivorship banner:

Thrive: Meditation and Mindfulness

The program is facilitated by a local clinician and yoga instructor and runs for 8 consecutive weeks.

Mindfulness has been demonstrated to significantly lower scores on depression, anxiety, anger and confusion as well as decrease cortisol levels – the stress hormone. This course is an internationally recognised course, which originated in Canada with such success that it has been replicated the world over. It includes both meditation and yoga components. Mindfulness teaches us to be unconditionally present with whatever is happening no matter what.

For details of the next program please see our events listing.

Enlive: Empowerment

Enlive: Empowerment strives to give women and men back their “power” and confidence in decision making following breast cancer treatments. Professional facilitators walk attendees through strategies to assist them and provide tools to utilise during those fearful times around scans and follow up.

For details of the next program please see our events listing.

Revive: Fitness

Personal trainers run sessions with patients following treatment helping them get their strength back and helping them with their confidence to tackle exercise in a safe and supportive environment. Gyms are often intimidating especially for those dealing with body image issues from surgery or treatment.

Exercise following treatment for breast cancer reduces the risk of recurrence by more than 20%.

For more information contact supportivecare@hbcf.org.au

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