Until recently, the advice given to cancer patients during their treatment was to get plenty of rest.
Now, Genesis Cancer Clinic in Joondalup, Western Australia, has an exercise clinic set up next to their treatment suites. So patients can receive supervised prescribed exercise programs on the same day they receive their chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
This treatment revolution is largely a result of the work of ECU’s Exercise Medicine Research Institute, within the School of Medical & Health Sciences, led by Professor Daniel Galvão.
A step into the unknown
Western Australia's 2019 Scientist of the Year and ECU Professor Rob Newton has spent the past 15 years developing exercise medicine for the management of cancer. Professor Newton explained to the ABC science show Catalyst that having an exercise clinic in the same building as chemotherapy and radiotherapy suites was a world first.
"It was a bit of a step into the unknown (for oncologists) because chemotherapy is a very difficult journey for the patient and we were proposing to have their patients exercise on top of that," he said.
"Now the results we are seeing from the patients are just fantastic."
"There is emerging evidence that reaching a certain level of fitness can reduce the chance of death from cancer by as much as 50 per cent."