Fighting cancer can take a big toll on patients’ physical and mental state. At the same time, however, treatment and recovery also can have adverse effects that may not be so visible.
Focusing on cancer patients’ mental and spiritual health, while at the same time treating the cancer itself, is the purpose of Fresh Start, a program offered by Wheeling Hospital’s Schiffler Cancer Center.
Conducted at the hospital’s Howard Long Wellness Center, Fresh Start is for patients either dealing with or recovering from cancer treatments. Participants do not have to be patients of the Schiffler Cancer Center to join Fresh Start, but they must have a physician referral.
Fresh Start is based on the theory that exercise, diet, education and support can help boost reserves. It provides personalized fitness and diet programs designed to help strengthen and refresh the body, mind and spirit. The therapists believe this helps speed recovery and may prevent recurrence.
At the Wellness Center, board-certified occupational and physical therapists provide a free screening, if needed. Then, over a two-week period, an exercise physiologist designs a program to meet participants’ individual goals, also at no cost. Educational sessions are conducted to discuss nutrition, exercise and spiritual wellness.
After that, for a nominal fee, the participant will undergo independent exercise sessions focusing on strength and cardiovascular fitness. The goal is to help patients invigorate their spirits, as well as their bodies.
For more information on Fresh Start, call 304-243-2908.