Who is this for?
This is initially a pilot programme for specific pathways from four cancer specialities. We hope to expand this as we learn from the pilot, work with patients and progress.
- Urology: Bladder cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer, Oesophageal cancer
How does it work?
At the point where cancer surgery is being considered, patients are referred to the Shape Up 4 Cancer Surgery in partnership with Macmillan team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. This may even be before chemotherapy or any other treatment.
A one-stop assessment clinic will:
Provide information about the wellbeing programme and the support available during leading up to any treatment and beyond.
Be an opportunity to go through current mental and physical health, fitness levels and nutrition.
Introduce the nurse who will complete surgical pre-assessment, so take routine blood samples and do an ECG (heart tracing).
Meet the Active Leeds Prehabilitation Coordinator, who will design a suitable and achievable bespoke exercise programme
What will the exercise programme involve?
At the beginning of the programme, specialist cancer fitness coordinator will work through a fitness test to simply create a baseline of how your body responds to exercise. They will be looking at lung capacity, flexibility, strength and endurance and this will take place in a Leeds City Council leisure centre.
The idea then is to create a programme around each patient, looking at goals and progress suited to them.
Research shows that regular exercise, a healthy diet and good mental wellbeing before, during and after cancer treatment can help patients in many ways including:
- Being able to tolerate cancer treatment better
- Increased access to previously unsuitable treatments
- Fewer complications from surgery
- Feeling less tired and having a better mood
- Spending less days in hospital
- Less chance of the cancer coming back
Is this safe?
Exercise programmes prior to major surgery have been shown to be safe, can increase fitness and reduce complication rates. Anaesthetists say that the stronger your lungs, the easier any operation is for your body to recover.
What other support is available?
A number of additional support services will be available to patients. These include, but are not limited to:
- Dietician input to improve your nutrition and make sure your body is getting the right vitamins and minerals
- Geriatrician input to assess frailty
- Stopping smoking service
We are also very fortunate to call upon the expertise of Maggie’s Yorkshire. Maggie’s is a cancer support centre working with Shape Up 4 Cancer Surgery in partnership with Macmillan. Their centre is a warm, welcoming place built on the grounds of St James’s Hospital, offers free support and is open to patients and their friends and family. You can find out about Maggie's Centres here.