Episode 14

Ep 12 – Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed Pt.1: Head and Neck cancer, cancer related cachexia and improving research translation.


July 3rd, 2017

49 mins 17 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

Nicole is a Professor at the University of Calgary who focuses on physical activity for cancer survivors. In this episode, we chat about head and neck cancer, and some of the challenging side effects of the cancer and its treatment. Due to its location, cancer-related cachexia is common concern, along with some of the real difficulties and pain with just eating a meal, and how these affect exercise decisions.


Interestingly, HPV is such a common risk factor for Head and Neck cancer, that there are two separate types of HN cancer – HPV related on non-HPV related. We chat about the implications of this and how to reduce your overall risk.


Finally, we chat about our shared frustration in the translation of research into practice and how our research lines differ from the advice we give in a clinic.


If you’re in the Calgary area and are interested in getting involved in a research study, check out Nicole’s Lab at: https://www.ucalgary.ca/healthandwellnesslab/people/dr-culos-reed


Learn more about Nicole’s Thrive Health Services here: http://thrivehealthservices.com/about-us/ and check out Nicole on twitter @NCulosReed.



Check out www.reachbeyondcancer.com for our services or find me on twitter @CiaranFairman.



Show Notes.

0:30 – What is Head and Neck cancer and who is defined and a Head and Neck cancer patient/survivor.


2:15 – How is HPV puts you at a heightened risk of Head and Neck Cancer. There’s no screening for Head and Neck Cancer.


7.30 – Screening for HPV is part of the treatment for H/N cancer.


9.00 - Other risk factors for Head and Neck cancer.


9.30 – Side effects of treatment that’s unique to H/N cancer – Cancer-related cachexia, eating, hearing etc.


14.00 – How treatment needs to change for H/N cancer – more than just nutrition.


16.15 – The role of physicians vs. exercise physiologist in cancer care.


19.00 – How long and painful meals can be for H/N cancer patients/survivors and how that affects their exercise.


24.00 – Timing of exercise in H/N cancer – it may be better to wait until after treatment and what this means.


26.00 – How just moving can be helpful – worrying about structured exercise later.


28.00 – What we research vs. how we translate that to actionable advice.


33.00 – The importance of having trained professionals in this area that have a background in cancer.


36.00 – How weight training is an important, low-calorie tool to help H/N cancer.


38.00 – Common modifications with H/N cancer – balance issues, functional impairment.


40.00 – The importance of strategies aimed at long term adherence to exercise as opposed to short term improvements. Stoplight program to modify exercise.


44.00 – The importance as exercise oncologists establishing a line of communication with medical professionals.