Oncology Exercise Physiology


Unfortunately one in three Australian men and one in four women will be directly affected by cancer before the age of 75, with melanoma, prostate, colorectal, breast and lung cancers comprising the most common types.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer then you will know that treatment usually involves a combination of: surgery, radiation, systemic chemo- or hormone therapy and numerous visits to the GP / Specialists.

While getting the right treatment as soon as possible is essential, the treatment will result in a number of the following side effects including:

  • loss of function (musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary),
  • infections,
  • diarrhoea,
  • pain,
  • numbness,
  • lymphoedema,
  • nausea,
  • fatigue,
  • reduction in bone mass,
  • body composition changes, to name a few.
These side effects tends to peak during treatment, however symptoms may persist for many months or even years following treatment.In addition cancer and its associated treatment may increase risk of other common chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Exercise is an essential part of your Treatment

Exercise is now considered an essential part of cancer treatment. Exercise is beneficial in both preventing treatment related side effects, and mitigating them when they do occur. Exercise will also assist you in ‘bridging the gap’ between treatment cessation and effectively returning to ‘normal’ daily life.

Exercise during and / or following treatment offers the following benefits:


Studies show that a  lack of physical activity during and/or following cancer treatment has the potential to exacerbate symptoms (e.g. fatigue) and contribute to loss of function (musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health), hence contributing to reductions in quality of life.

Participation in physical activity reduces the risk of Cancer recurrence and death by up to half, when compared with those who are sedentary.

Clinical Oncology Society of Australia position statement on Exercise in Cancer Care

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia recently published a position statement on Exercise in Cancer Care, you can read the position statement here. The main points from it were the following:

  1. Exercise to be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care and to be viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment
  2. All members of the multidisciplinary cancer team to promote physical activity and recommend people with cancer adhere to exercise guidelines
  3. Best practice cancer care to include referral to an accredited exercise physiologist with experience in cancer care

Exercise and Cancer Prevention

The scientific evidence supporting physical activity as a means of cancer prevention is now considered ‘strong’ and ‘convincing’ for particular cancers including colon/colorectal and breast, ‘probable’ for prostate and ‘possible’ for lung and endometrial cancers, with risk ratios or odds ratios reported for the physically active groups ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 (representing risk reductions of 25% to more than three-fold).


Published evidence supports a dose–response relationship between physical activity levels and some cancers including colorectal, breast and prostate, showing that cancer risk decreases as activity levels increase.


Oncology Exercise Physiology


At Living Energy Pilates and Rehabilitation you will be assessed by an Exercise Physiologist who is an expert in chronic disease management and experienced with cancer treatment. Based on your assessment and taking into account your stage of treatment we will determine an exercise routine that will assist with your treatment and recovery and takes into account your personal cicrumstances.


Your exercise sessions will be adjusted according to changes in treatment, presence of side-effects, your functional and physical status, and presence of contraindications and clinical concerns. You will have your ‘good days’ and ‘not so good days’ and we are happy to adjust for that.



Rebates may be available for GPMP, TCA, T2DM, and DVA clients. For privately funded clients the fees are listed below.

Exercise Physiology Fees
1 x Initial Assessment (45min) plus 1 pair Gripperz Socks $95
1 x 30 min Consultation - Exercise Physiology $66
1 x 60 min Consultation - Exercise Physiology $90