Cancer Tran­si­tions at YMCA

Pro­gram of­fers help with ex­er­cise, nu­tri­tion as well as emo­tional sup­port


The YMCA of Cape Bre­ton and the Cape Bre­ton Cancer Cen­tre are part­ner­ing to de­liver a free Cancer Tran­si­tions pro­gram for pa­tients who have fin­ished ac­tive cancer treat­ments.

The six-week, com­mu­ni­ty­based pro­gram will cover core is­sues for cancer sur­vivors, in­clud­ing the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise, nu­tri­tion, emo­tional sup­port and med­i­cal man­age­ment.

“There are a cou­ple of di­men­sions to it,” said An­dre Gallant, CEO of the YMCA of Cape Bre­ton.

“One is the phys­i­cal re­cov­ery which is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent de­pend­ing on the cancer and the treat­ment it­self and where peo­ple are in that whole health con­tin­uum.”

An­other sig­nif­i­cant as­pect of the pro­gram is al­low­ing cancer sur­vivors to so­cial­ize again.

“You re­cover at home or you are sim­ply vis­it­ing your doc­tor or ther­a­pist and not get­ting out and meet­ing peers in that sort of so­cial en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“Here’s a chance to meet some peo­ple and share some sto­ries with peo­ple go­ing through sim­i­lar kinds of ex­pe­ri­ences and hope­fully con­nect with some peo­ple and build re­la­tion­ships.”

The pro­gram for­mat will see up to 20 par­tic­i­pants meet for two and a half hour ses­sions each week to hear pre­sen­ta­tions from ex­perts, en­gage in group dis­cus­sion and di­rectly ad­dress the emo­tional and so­cial hur­dles they face dur­ing the tran­si­tion pe­riod fol­low­ing treat­ment.

Group fit­ness co-or­di­na­tor Tanya Horne will bring par­tic­i­pants through their ex­er­cise rou­tines and will of­fer nu­tri­tional ad­vise.

Guest speak­ers will bring out­side ex­per­tise to the ini­tia­tive.

The pro­gram also of­fers a ‘ booster’ ses­sion held one month af­ter the pro­gram ends, to re­in­force many of the proac­tive be­havioural changes dis­cussed dur­ing the core pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to the Cape Bre­ton Fam­ily YMCA, past par­tic­i­pants of the Cancer Tran­si­tions pro­gram have re­ported ex­pe­ri­enc­ing less worry about the neg­a­tive im­pacts of cancer.

They also say they func­tion bet­ter phys­i­cally, are more com­mit­ted to phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and see im­prove­ments in their di­etary habits. The pro­gram be­gins April 12. To regis­ter or get more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Cape Bre­ton Cancer Cen­tre at 902-567-8074.


Cape Bre­ton Fam­ily YMCA group fit­ness co-or­di­na­tor Tanya Horne and YMCA CEO An­dre Gallant pose for a photo inside the YMCA this week. Horne will lead par­tic­i­pants of the Cancer Tran­si­tions pro­gram through their ex­er­cise rou­tines and will also of­fer nu­tri­tional ad­vice.

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