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Nordic Walking After Cancer Pilot Project voted a hit
A PILOT project which was designed to give breast cancer survivors a walking workout has been declared a success.
The walking course was offered to survivors as a programme provided by breast cancer nurse specialists Lorraine Sers and Anne Saunders from Dorset County Hospital and cancer exercise specialist Laura Spencer.
It has been so successful that there are plans in the pipeline for a further Nordic walking programme.
Mrs Spencer said that 21 women have taken part in the walks, which cover hard surfaces and grass and have taken participants out to Maiden Castle.
She added: “It’s been very popular. It’s an initiative for people who have finished treatment and want a better quality of life. People have treatment for lymph nodes under their armpits and have a restricted range of movement under their armpits.
“Nordic walking targets and exercises these areas.
Laura said a wide range of people have come through the programme.
She said: “It’s not always about the physical, it’s the psychological. We want to emphasise that you can come on these walks and you don’t have to talk about cancer, we’re talking about anything and everything.”
Breast cancer survivor Janet Hansford, 61, of Martinstown, said: “It’s brilliant exercise for your scar tissue because it softens it. You really notice the difference. I had muscles taken out of my back and a reconstruction done. I can feel the difference already, I would recommend this as good exercise for anyone in a similar situation.”
Vivien Swatridge, 66, from Cattistock, said she became involved in the Nordic walking programme after reading an article on it in the Echo. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed it. I want to continue with it. Having done the winter months, I’m really looking forward to doing more walking in the spring and summer.”
Self-employed Mrs Spencer said the funding for the project will expire in September but is glad the NHS is acknowledging the treatment.
She said: “The research is there. We hope this will be the start of more exercise based cancer rehabilitation.”