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Sensitivity, safety, strengthening at the center of exercise program for cancer survivors

Sensitivity, safety, strengthening at the center of exercise program for cancer survivors
Cancer treatment is often exhausting for patients and exercise may be the last thing they feel like doing, but movement can in fact help people gain, endurance, flexibility and strength. That is where Carle Cancer Survivorship Exercise Program can help.

Guided by athletic trainers the 10-week program that asks patients cleared by their doctors to meet twice a week in a pressure-free environment where those attending are alongside others with similar medical experiences. The first four weeks of the program involves exercising in small groups of three to five people and the final six weeks brings all small groups together into a larger group.

Recovering from a double mastectomy as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Evelyn Michaud took the class after hearing about it from an occupational therapist.

“It was a good class. They are very patient and helped those with any restrictions,” she said. Yoga and use of exercise bands and weights are all part of the movements. “Even if you cannot do all the repetitions, it is good for you because you are moving and this is your choice,” she said. “I felt like I had more strength, more ability.”

She said she carried over the movements to practice at home as well and since then she enrolled in a senior exercise class, also at Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Champaign. “You get committed to it.”

The Cancer Survivorship Exercise Program focuses on the following body parts: cervical spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, upper back, scapulothoracic joint, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, hip, glutes, quads, hamstrings, adductor muscles, calves, ankles and great toe/balance.

Donated funds from Carle Health Center for Philanthropy through the ARISE Fund support part of the program. Cancer Survivorship classes are $10 each. To learn more about the program, send an email to

Categories: Staying Healthy, Community

Tags: Cancer, Champaign-Urbana, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine