The United States Registry of Exercise Professionals
Industry News, Professional Development

Honoring and Celebrating Cancer Survivors

June 20, 2023

National Cancer Survivors Month, observed every June, honors and celebrates cancer survivors. According to the American Cancer Society, there are 18.1 million cancer survivors in the United States.

Cancer survivorship begins with diagnosis. About 69% of cancer survivors have survived 5 or more years after their diagnosis, totaling 16.3 million cancer survivors.

Being physically active can help cancer survivors maintain their quality of life and accelerate their recovery after treatment. Despite this, 75% of people with cancer reported reducing their physical activity following their diagnosis. Their reduced physical activity continued for a year or more, even after treatment was completed.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines establish exercise as a standard part of cancer care. They encourage oncology providers to recommend aerobic and resistance training exercise during active treatment to mitigate side effects associated with cancer therapy.

Registered exercise professionals with cancer exercise specialty training have the skills needed to guide cancer survivors through treatment, recovery, and survivorship by:

  1. Increasing awareness of the health benefits of being physically active after diagnosis, including lowered risk of dying from their cancer, better quality of life, improved fitness and physical function, less fatigue, and reduced adverse effects of cancer treatment.
  2. Developing exercise programming specific to the needs of cancer survivors.
  3. Providing accountability and supporting motivation. This helps to address “difficulty getting motivated” and “difficulty remaining disciplined,” which are two reasons cited by cancer survivors as to why they reduce their physical activity levels after diagnosis.

Check out our registry to find a registered exercise professional with NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications near you.