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.
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