BREAST cancer survivors are to be given the opportunity to take part in a health trend to promote fitness.

A Nordic walking course is to be offered to sufferers as a free programme provided by breast care nurse specialists Lorraine Sers and Anne Saunders from Dorset County Hospital, and cancer exercise specialist Laura Spencer.

Lorraine said the project was the first of its kind in West Dorset.

She said: “The programme aims to promote health and wellbeing, and Nordic walking can be accessed by the majority of patients, making it realistic and achievable.

“Evidence shows that a healthy lifestyle after a cancer diagnosis is made can impact on the outcomes.

“Specialist advice for cancer survivors on physical activity or diet, for example, can influence the quality of life and improved overall survival.

“Both Anne and I fully support the programme and encourage as many of our patients as possible to actively take part.”

The project is funded by the Dorset Cancer Network as part of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative. It is hoped that Nordic walking – a type of exercise developed in Scandinavia using specially designed poles – will eventually be offered to all cancer survivors in West Dorset.

Laura said: “Outdoor exercise has a pronounced effect on your mood and mental health. It generally leads to increased activity levels, and the connection with nature and the natural elements is proven to have a positive effect on reducing anxiety and stress levels.

The first Nordic walking course starts at the end of October in Dorchester and is open to all breast cancer survivors in West Dorset.

For information, or to book a place, call 01305 255160 or email