It is estimated that one in three women and one in four men will be diagnosed
with cancer in their lifetime. For cancer survivors who overcome this
ravaging disease, there is often a lifelong fear of recurrence as well
as an increased risk in developing a second cancer. There are ways to
minimize this risk and fear by finding balance with a healthy lifestyle.
The clinical experts at
St. Joseph Hospital’s
Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment understand the importance of cancer prevention. That is why they developed
the Cancer Wellness Program, which is designed for cancer patients who
have completed active treatment or are undergoing long-term maintenance.
The ultimate goals of the program are to help patients reduce their risk
of developing another cancer, decrease their chances of recurrence and
increase their survival rates.
“Wellness is an integral part of recovery. We developed this comprehensive
approach to help patients move beyond cancer,” said Maria Lopez-Carale,
PT, lead physical therapist.
The Cancer Wellness Program is an evidence-based program that addresses
the Four Pillars of Wellness:
- Body weight
Numerous research studies show that obesity has nearly surpassed tobacco
use as the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer. Being overweight or obese
increases a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, including
esophageal, liver, kidney, stomach, colorectal, prostate, breast, gallbladder,
pancreatic, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Implementing proper nutrition and exercise is directly correlated with
maintaining a healthy body weight and ultimately reducing the risk of
developing cancer. The Cancer Wellness Program emphasizes the importance
of nutrition by helping patients understand recommended portions for meals,
food labels, and how to eat a well-balanced diet that incorporates the
right amounts of vegetables, fruits, protein, fats, carbohydrates and fiber.
Regular physical activity is shown to help cancer survivors experience
fewer symptoms after treatment such as less fatigue and improved self-esteem.
The Cancer Wellness Program offers group exercise classes specially designed
for patients who have just completed treatment or are receiving long-term
Classes offered each week include:
- Dance for Wellness
- Synergy (toning, strengthening, balance and stretching)
- Yogalates (Yoga and Pilates)
The fourth wellness pillar emphasized in the program is lifestyle, which
focuses on mindfulness and meditation practices as tools for sustaining
behavioral changes. In addition to preventing cancer, living a healthy
lifestyle can prevent other chronic medical conditions and enhance a person’s
overall health and well-being.
“Initiating and maintaining behavior changes require effort and persistence.
With the right guidance and support, patients can get the motivation they
need to begin their journeys to healthier, more balanced lifestyles,”
said Janni Buaiz, MS, CWS, CHC, cancer wellness navigator.
For more information about the Cancer Wellness Program, contact Janni Buaiz
at (714) 734-6230 or