Cancer Prehabilitation service for Gloucestershire patients

5 Oct 2022, 3:04 p.m.

We have launched a Prehabilitation service that offers pre-treatment support for patients with cancer.

Delivered in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, the Prehabilitation programme is designed to encourage patients with cancer in Gloucestershire to take an active role in their cancer care by helping them get into their best shape, physically and mentally, before treatment.

Research has shown that many cancer patients who are supported early on to build physical and psychological strength may be more likely to:

  • cope better with the side effects of treatment (or have fewer side effects)
  • leave hospital sooner after surgery
  • have more treatment choices
  • have better long-term overall health

More importantly, Prehabilitation is known to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer recurring.

The cancer specialists working in the new Prehabilitation team include a dietitian, physiotherapist, assistant psychologist and support worker who work together to enhance patients’ physical and psychological preparation for cancer treatment.

Physiotherapist Lizzie Paul is the Clinical Lead for the new service and says:

“We work together to develop a plan that is personalised to each individual to enable them to get the best out of the programme. We’re already getting great feedback on the service and hope we’ll be able to help many more people feel better prepared to face what many say is the most challenging period of their lives.”

Feedback from service users has been extremely positive and includes:

“It helped me focus on what's important now and in my future treatment and highlighted a few things I hadn't thought about.”

“The talk and exercises were realistic, optimistic, encouraging and felt achievable. I will be able to maintain these changes”

Sara Mathewson, Macmillan Cancer Support, Partnership Manager, Avon & Gloucestershire, commented, “We’re excited to be supporting this new programme in Gloucestershire because we know that cancer patients who have had Prehabilitation have improved outcomes and a better quality of life.”

The new Prehabilitation service provides specialist support for anyone over the age of 18 living in Gloucestershire and is currently available for those patients with a diagnosis of lung, upper gastro-intestinal, gynaecological, colorectal, haematological and prostate cancer.

Patients can be referred to the service by their Cancer Nurse Specialist and medical team and sessions are held at various community locations within Gloucestershire.

The Prehabilitation programme is delivered by different health professionals using a personalised approach to help manage nutrition, physical activity and emotional wellbeing in preparation for cancer treatment.

Read our Patient Information leaflet

The compassion, enthusiasm and support of the Prehabilitation Cancer Team for both me and my husband gave us the strength to face whatever the future holds. I would urge anyone in this situation to use this wonderful service.

Prehabilitation service user

Patients not currently eligible for Prehabilitation

For individuals who are not able to participate in the current Prehabilitation programme, several available resources can help. If they have concerns about their diet, physical fitness or emotional wellbeing, they should speak to their cancer nurse specialist. For general information on preparing for cancer treatment:

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/impacts-of-cancer