Active Living After Cancer

The Kelsey Research Foundation and Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, in partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Neighborhood Centers Inc., will pilot an innovative program, Active Living after Cancer, to help improve the quality of life of cancer survivors. This 12-session program teaches behavioral and cognitive skills to increase physical activity and provides support related to health issues faced by cancer survivors including lymphedema, psychological distress, nutrition and fatigue. This program is funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Active Living after Cancer uses an alternative approach to increasing physical activity. Rather than promote a structured exercise regimen which would include the use of a gym or fitness equipment, the program recommends increased physical activity by incorporating short bouts of moderate intensity activity into daily life.

"Our research showed this program improves survivors' quality of life," said Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., Director of MD Anderson's Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. "We are now working to make it broadly available in the community."

One of the goals of Active Living after Cancer is to overcome the barriers that prevent many people from re-engaging in an active lifestyle, including lack of access to a gym, lack of time and the deconditioning that makes it difficult to sustain exercise for an extended period of time.

"We know that when breast cancer survivors become more physically active, it has a positive impact on their quality of life - physically, mentally and emotionally," said Tejash Patel, M.D., Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Cancer Center. "We want breast cancer survivors to not only survive, but to thrive after treatment - and Active Living after Breast Cancer may help some women overcome the barriers that prevent them from engaging in meaningful physical activity."

Active Living after Breast Cancer was piloted at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic - Main Campus in September 2014. All breast cancer survivors in the community who have completed treatment (except hormone therapy) and engage in less than 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week may be eligible for the program.