In 2015, there were 131,452 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia (71,959 males and 59,493 females). In 2019, it is estimated that 144,713 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (78,081 males and 66,632 females). In 2019, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 2 for both males and females.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – almost 50,000 deaths from cancer are estimated for 2019.1 In 2014, cancer was the second most common cause of death in Australia and accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths.1,3
Around 25,000 more people die each year from cancer compared to 1982. This is due mainly to population growth and ageing,1 however, the death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has fallen by more than 24%.
In the 1980s, the cancer survival rate was less than 50%. Today, almost 7 in 10 Australians will survive for at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis and in some cancers the survival is as high as 90%.1 The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, breast, colorectal (bowel), melanoma and lung cancer. These five cancers account for around 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.1
In 2008, it was estimated that every year around 434,000 people will be diagnosed with one or more non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia. 4
In 2016, 679 people died from non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia.1
At the end of 2014, there were 109,906 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer that year, 431,704 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2010 to 2014) and 1,082,511 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 33 years (from 1982 to 2014).
Through proper education cancer can be prevented, life expectancy can be increased, and quality of life both during and after treatment can be improved exponentially. The Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI), a United States-based organization, has trained over 10,000 health and fitness professionals to become Cancer Exercise Specialists since 2004. CETI and it’s regional affiliates are bringing the Cancer Exercise Specialist Advanced Qualification training to New Zealand and Australia in 2019.
Through the comprehensive training health and fitness professionals seeking to attain a higher level of mastery and work with cancer patients during and after cancer surgery and treatment and into survivorship. Participants will expand their skills as a CES and gain a complete understanding of the entire cancer process from diagnosis and treatment to reconstruction and survivorship. The unique and individualized programming will help to improve the patient’s ability to cope with the mental and physical stress following cancer diagnosis and treatment. The comprehensive programming covers 26 types of cancer, as well as pediatrics, with special emphasis on breast cancer and breast reconstruction.
“The Cancer Exercise Specialist is to CANCER what Cardiac Rehab. is to the HEART PATIENT.” – Andrea Leonard
Regular continuing education is required to maintain the high-standard of expertise required to work with this population.
The benefits of exercise during treatment include:
- Increased energy
- Improved treatment tolerance
- Decrease in pain
- Decrease in depression
- Better sleep
- Improved self-esteem/self-confidence
- Prevent weight gain and obesity
- Prevent.manage lymphedema
- Prevent cancer cachexia
- Maintain independence
- Improved balance and strength
- Makes treatment more effective at destroying cancer cells
The benefits of exercise during recovery include:
- Increased range of motion
- Correct muscle imbalances that lead to pain and degeneration
- Increased energy
- Increased stamina
- Increases in strength and cardiovascular endurance
- Prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, lymphedema, future cancer, and damage to the heart and lungs
- Decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass
- Improve balance and fall prevention
- Improved self-esteem/self-confidence
Based on the tremendous amount of evidence to support the aforementioned lists, it is mind-boggling that so few cancer patients are told to exercise. For those who are given the green light to exercise, the big problem is not knowing where to start, how to safely progress, and how to prevent many of the complications associated with cancer treatment.
By training more allied health professionals worldwide, CETI is creating a global resource for medical professionals to be able to confidently refer their patients.
“Cancer strips you of everything. Your hair, your body parts, your dignity, your self-confidence, your strength and stamina, your finances, sometimes even your job or spouse. A Cancer Exercise Specialist can help the cancer patient regain control of their life and their body at a time that the patient feels they have no control.” – Andrea Leonard
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Cancer Exercise Specialist in Australia or New Zealand, or would like to learn about bringing CETI’s training to your country, please contact CETIguru@gmail.com
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Cancer in Australia: In brief 2019. Cancer series no. 122. Cat no. CAN 126. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries 2017. Cancer in Australia: in brief 2017. Cancer series no. 102. Cat no. CAN 101. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Cancer Australia 2008. Non-melanoma skin cancer: general practice consultations, hospitalisations and mortality. Cancer series no. 43. Cat. no. 39. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. Canberra: AIHW
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013. Health system expenditure on cancer and other neoplasms in Australia: 2008–09. Cancer series no. 81. Cat. no. 78. Canberra: AIHW.
- Cancer Australia 2016. Cancer research in Australia 2016 to 2018: Opportunities for strategic research investment – Highlights, Cancer Australia, Surry Hills, NSW.In 2015, there were 131,452 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia (71,959 males and 59,493 females). In 2019, it is estimated that 144,713 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (78,081 males and 66,632 females). In 2019, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 2 for both males and females.