Engaging cancer patients in exercise: Sarah Dewhurst

Engaging cancer patients in exercise: Sarah Dewhurst

Engaging cancer patients in exercise: Sarah Dewhurst

Introduction

There is a growing body of evidence that physical activity can increase cancer patients’ chances of survival. Research commissioned by Macmillan suggests that breast and prostate cancer patients can increase their chances of survival by 30-40% through recommended levels of activity.

“My Fellowship has had a huge impact on my work in the UK." - Sarah Dewhurst, Fellow

Physiotherapist Sarah Dewhurst (CF 2019) is the lead for living with and beyond cancer care at a tertiary cancer hospital in London and is responsible for developing the exercise service that is offered to patients. Upon return from her Fellowship, Sarah set up a network for UK physiotherapists who are interested in developing expertise in providing exercise services for people with cancer. The network has a group of over 100 physiotherapists from across the UK, who meet remotely every other month to provide peer support, share information on services and work together on joint projects.

In its first six months, the physiotherapy network was accepted to present at the National Physiotherapy Conference 2021. The session covers cancer rehabilitation and is the first time that cancer has had a focused symposium slot at the event. Sarah has also worked with the network to develop a course on exercising after stoma surgery, delivering bespoke training to oncology physiotherapists in 2021.

Prior to her Fellowship, Sarah was a Macmillan specialist clinician and saw first-hand the potential of effective exercise in preparing cancer patients for treatment, maximising their wellbeing and supporting their recovery. Her Fellowship investigated the role of physical activity in improving outcomes for cancer patients in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Sarah says, “My Fellowship has had a huge impact on my work in the UK. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to meet fellow physiotherapists who feel equally strongly about exercise oncology and to work together to promote change in practice.”

“My Fellowship has had a huge impact on my work in the UK." - Sarah Dewhurst, Fellow

Physiotherapist Sarah Dewhurst (CF 2019) is the lead for living with and beyond cancer care at a tertiary cancer hospital in London and is responsible for developing the exercise service that is offered to patients. Upon return from her Fellowship, Sarah set up a network for UK physiotherapists who are interested in developing expertise in providing exercise services for people with cancer. The network has a group of over 100 physiotherapists from across the UK, who meet remotely every other month to provide peer support, share information on services and work together on joint projects.

In its first six months, the physiotherapy network was accepted to present at the National Physiotherapy Conference 2021. The session covers cancer rehabilitation and is the first time that cancer has had a focused symposium slot at the event. Sarah has also worked with the network to develop a course on exercising after stoma surgery, delivering bespoke training to oncology physiotherapists in 2021.

Prior to her Fellowship, Sarah was a Macmillan specialist clinician and saw first-hand the potential of effective exercise in preparing cancer patients for treatment, maximising their wellbeing and supporting their recovery. Her Fellowship investigated the role of physical activity in improving outcomes for cancer patients in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Sarah says, “My Fellowship has had a huge impact on my work in the UK. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to meet fellow physiotherapists who feel equally strongly about exercise oncology and to work together to promote change in practice.”