Exercise Programs

Recreational Programs | Structured Programs

General Introduction

Many breast cancer survivors are unsure of where to go to become more active following diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. To help breast cancer survivors become more active, we have conducted a systematic search for appropriate, accessible and cancer-specific exercise, recreation and sports programs. 

Understanding that program providers, instructors and trainers may have an impact on a survivor’s experience and safety, we have also conducted a systematic search of post-secondary courses and professional certifications in exercise and cancer. The purpose of the education search is to help health professionals and individuals interested in cancer and exercise find appropriate educational pathways. 

Currently efforts are focused on Ontario as over 50% of breast cancer survivors are diagnosed and treated in the province. 

Summary of Search Methods

Program Search

Exercise programsare structured and involve supervision by a qualified exercise professional (i.e., an individual with post-secondary education in addition to exercise and cancer training). 

Rehabilitation programsare medically-lead programs that focus on recovery following diagnosis and treatment for cancer. Programs are typically offered in clinics within the community or in-hospital. 

Recreational programsare lower-intensity and are supervised by qualified exercise professionals. 

Sport programsare team-based pursuits and include mainly dragon boat. 

These programs were found by:

  1. Conducting a grey literature search to find programs in general using Google Advance. 
  2. Conducting a targeted search through cancer-specific websites (e.g., Canadian Cancer Society).
  3. Consultations were conducted with experts in the field (e.g., health care professionals, researchers, patient advisors) to ensure the search was complete. 
  4. Program information were extracted from their specific website or by calling or emailing the specific program provider. 

Education Search

Post-secondary courses(i.e., college and university level courses) include material on cancer-specific exercise training and prescription. 

Post-secondary courses were found by:

  1. Searching the Government of Ontario website for all colleges and universities in the province. 
  2. Conducting a Google search to find any additional institutions. 
  3. To find potential courses, course calendars from health and biological science faculties and programs were then searched using the following terms: cancer, exercise, physical activity, clinical population, special population and chronic disease. 
  4. To find relevant courses, syllabi were searched using the same terms. Where syllabi were not found, the course instructor or program coordinator were emailed to obtain relevant information. 

Incomplete section:

Qualified exercise professional certificationsare additional accreditation or training for individuals who already hold an exercise professional credential. 

Qualified exercise professional certifications were found by:

  1. Google search
  2. Consultation with QEPs