Episode 8

Episode 6 - Sarah Weller, exercise physiologist speaks about cancer rehab


May 21st, 2017

51 mins 51 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

In today’s episode I speak to Sarah Weller, an exercise physiologist in Vancouver, Canada. Sarah has over 10 years of experience working with a variety of cancer patients and survivors at varying times of treatment. We chat about Sarah’s wealth of experience in the field, the difficulty of setting up a cancer rehabilitation center and establishing relationships with oncologists, along with a discussion about working with different cancer populations including glioblastoma and terminal cancers. It was a fascinating discussion with someone who has a phenomenal amount of experience in the trenches in exercise oncology.


You can find Sarah on her website sarahweller.ca, or find her on twitter @_sarahweller.

Head over to our website reachbeyondcancer to find out more, or catch me on twitter @ciaranfairman.


*We had some microphone issues on my end in this episode. You’ll be able to hear the difference in quality in my voice compared to other episodes, but I felt the content was so valuable, it was better to get it out there than try to re-record it. I appreciate your patience as I work through the technical aspects of the show to get better each week.


Show notes

3:35     Sarah’s Background/Current work in the field


5:05     Starting her own private cancer rehabilitation program/utilizing exercise as medicine to fill a gap in cancer care


6:50     How did patients find you and the care offered/ referrals



8:35     Making connections and building relationships with physicians to support her mission




10:05   The importance of outreach and education to professionals to show them the power of exercise and research to back it up



12:05   Stressing the idea that patients can generate change in the way care is administered



13:35   Finding the issues with standard care that needed to be addressed, directly from the patients themselves



15:05   How to start and help establish a business in clinical exercise physiology/ Sarah’s ultimate goal for exercise prescription; similar to cardiac rehab



18:35   Effectively structuring an individual’s program/ the significance of initial assessment



20:05   Why the Cardiac Rehab model is powerful and what we can learn from it



22:05   The importance of understanding the details of cancer and the modifications that need to be made to their programs based on their specific circumstances



23:35   What stages and types of cancer does Sarah treat


25:35   Common modifications to exercise based on their type of cancer/treatment


  • 24:05 Limited Range of Motion


  • 25:05 Handling Fatigue


  • 26:35 Peripheral Neuropathy


  • 28:05 Prostate Cancer


  • 29:35 Glioblastoma


36:35   What exactly does the initial consultation of a patient look like


  • 36:35 The importance and effectiveness of integrating the patient’s individual goals


  • 39:05 Flexibility in consultation and training protocols


42:05   Sarah’s transition into research and what gaps she wants to cover


  • 42:05 Effectively changing behavior


45:35   Sarah’s Advice for upcoming professionals in the field



48:05   Sarah’s advice for patients wanting to start an exercise program