Radiation and Exercise Program

The REPAIR Program (Radiation Exercise and Physical Activity Initiative) is an exciting health and wellbeing program created through partnership between Oncology Clinics Victoria and Radiation Oncology Victoria to maximise the benefits of treatment and minimise the side effects.

Cancer Information

Cancer is a disease where abnormal cells multiply without control. Each year, over 100,000 Australians are diagnosed with some form of cancer and by the age of 85, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with the disease. Common treatments across cancer types include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapies.

What is Radiotherapy?

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. It may be used to cure cancer, control the growth of the cancer or relieve symptoms caused by cancer such as pain. Radiotherapy works by damaging cells.

Normal cells are able to repair themselves, whereas cancer cells are less capable of repair. It is this difference that provides a biological advantage, which is used in planning radiotherapy treatments for different cancer types. Radiotherapy is generally delivered in daily intervals, Monday to Friday. This allows time between daily treatments for the healthy cells to repair much of the radiation effect, while cancer cells are not as likely to survive.

Side Effects of Radiation

As with most treatments for cancer, patients receiving radiation therapy may experience side effects. These side effects vary depending on the type of cancer, the location of the cancer and length of radiation treatment.

It is important to remember that every patient responds differently to radiation therapy – physically and emotionally, and hence side effects will vary accordingly.
In order to maintain good physical and mental health throughout your radiation therapy treatment, Radiation Oncology Victoria and OCV have created a health and wellbeing program – the Repair Program – which will provide you with a support network of allied health professionals who will tailor a health program to suit your personal needs. This program will enable and encourage you to maintain good physical and mental health during
and after your treatment.

The Program

The Repair Program starts within a week of commencing radiation therapy. Each exercise program is individualised relating to your underlying cancer, the treatment you are receiving, and any other medical problems you may have. Each program is supported by a nutritional program designed by our Oncology Dietitian and psychological support from our experienced Psycho-oncologists.

You will be given an individualised program consisting of two supervised exercise sessions per week, combined with exercises to do at home. This will continue for 12 weeks in total, and will involve regular assessments to monitor your progress. If further treatment is planned, you may be invited to attend additional programs specifically related to your cancer stream and treatment.

Additional Information

A Chronic Disease Management Plan will be initiated by your GP, this will allow up to five claimable visits through Medicare.

Group classes with the Exercise Physiologist may be subsidised through your Private Health Insurance.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothes you can exercise in for each consultation.


How to Join

Contact Oncology Clinics Victoria:
Suite 2.3, 55 Kangan Drive, Berwick Victoria 3806
P 1300 300 977

Make an appointment to see the OCV Exercise Physiologist.