Paediatric Oncology and Exercise Podcast
Advances in childhood cancer treatment and supportive care have contributed to increased survival rates among childhood cancer survivors, with over 80% becoming five-year survivors in high-income countries. Despite increasing survival rates, late-effects of cancer treatment are common with three-quarters of survivors experiencing a chronic illness during survivorship. The most common chronic health conditions experienced by survivors are cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and secondary cancers. Childhood cancer survivors have also been shown to have reduced cardiovascular fitness compared with age-matched healthy controls, as well as low levels of physical activity. There is support for exercise during and after cancer treatment in adult cancer survivors, including from Australia’s national oncology group Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. However, the evidence and guidelines for CCS is less clear. Recently, the international paediatric oncology exercise guidelines were released by an international group of experts, highlighting the importance of physical activity and movement for all children and adolescents affected by cancer. As children during and after treatment may experience impairments as a result of their treatment and change in lifestyle, tailored exercise programs are likely to assist their return to school and mitigating their risk factors when transitioning into adulthood. This 1 hour podcast will cover background information on the prevalence and considerations for childhood cancer and its associated treatments and complications. It will outline relevant considerations for exercise physiologists including a review of current evidence, overview of clinical research and case studies.
This is a recording of an ESSA webinar presented on 22 November 2022.
Presented by Dr Lauren Ha, AES, AEP, PhD
Dr Lauren Ha is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who leads physical activity research to improve quality of life and health outcomes for children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer. Dr Ha is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and is proudly supported by The Kids’ Cancer Project. Her research focuses on exploring novel digital technologies to educate and engage childhood cancer survivors on health behaviours, including physical activity and fitness. Her PhD identified factors influencing physical activity engagement among childhood cancer survivors and addressed those factors using novel digital approaches to reduce survivors’ risk of developing treatment-related late effects. Dr Ha has piloted a successful distance-delivered physical activity intervention called ‘iBounce’, which has been recognised both locally and internationally.
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