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Cancer Recovery Therapy

Back on Track Fitness

moving Vancouver beyond cancer

BACK ON TRACK FITNESS provides customized exercise programs for Vancouverites overcoming a cancer diagnosis. These programs address the many side effects of cancer and its treatments. Our exercise therapists are certified as Cancer Exercise Specialists and are extremely knowledgeable in the field of cancer recovery and survivorship. Above all, they are passionate about moving people through all stated of their diagnosis to get, back on track! 

Filling Out a Form

Getting Started

Whether you are pre-, currently undergoing, or post- treatment for cancer, seeing a therapist such as a Cancer Exercise Specialist is valuable, as they have a deeper understanding of the treatments and side effects one is faced with. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through this difficult time. 

Mountain Peak

Unfortunately there are many cancer treatment side effects. However, exercise has been found in many clinical studies to have a positive effect on ALL of the side effects including fatigue, lymphedema, depression, sarcopenia, and more. The type of exercise and physical activity benefits vary with each modality.

Senior Physiotherapy

All new clients are to have an initial assessment with a Back on Track Cancer Exercise Specialist prior to starting exercise rehabilitation. We will then design a treatment plan based on your goals, and you may choose between attending group cancer recovery exercise classes or doing one-on-one training.  

About Cancer and Exercise

Cancer and Exercise

Today people with a cancer diagnosis are encouraged to move! Exercise and physical activity assists in cancer prevention, recovery and survival.


The American College of Sports Medicine, the Department of Health and Human Services, the journal Oncology, and most recently, the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA), all recommend exercise for people with Cancer. You should be as physically active as your condition and abilities allow. You may surprise yourself. (1)

Unfortunately there are many cancer treatment side effects. Side effects of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and hormone therapy can include:

  • Fatigue

  • Lymphedema

  • Reduced quality of life

  • Depression

  • Sarcopenia (increase in body fat and decrease in muscle mass)

  • Increased risk of heart disease

  • Bone loss

  • Reduce range of movement

  • Pelvic floor issues

  • Increased incidence of falls due to peripheral neuropathy and deconditioning.



Exercise has been found in many clinical studies to have a positive effect on ALL of the side effects listed above. The type of exercise and physical activity benefits vary with each modality.


Physical activity and exercise plays a part in reducing cancer risk, decreasing treatment side effects, speeding recovery after diagnosis and enhancing survival. (2)


When prescribing an exercise program, the Exercise Physiologists and Kinesiologists at Back on Track Fitness apply the principles of evidence-based medicine in cancer rehabilitation. We individually tailor a program, according to a patient’s specific health status and response to treatment, being mindful of issues such as lymphedema, cardiomyopathy, peripheral neuropathy, wound healing, limitations placed on range of movement by cancer operations, cancer related fatigue and “Chemo-brain”, a phenomenon of cognitive impairment caused by chemotherapy treatment effecting memory, attention and co-ordination.


Our goal at Back On Track Fitness is to make you feel safe, confident, and well informed to “move beyond cancer.”


  1. Lemanne D, Cassileth B, Gubili J. The role of physical activity in cancer prevention, treatment, recovery, and survivorship. Oncology (Williston Park) 2013; 27(6):580-5.

  2. Schmitz KH, Troxel AB, Cheville A, et al. Physical Activity and Lymphedema (the PAL trial): assessing the safety of progressive strength training in breast cancer survivors. Contemp Clin Trials 2009; 30(3):233-45.

  3. Schmitz KH, Ahmed RL, Troxel AB, et al. Weight lifting for women at risk for breast cancer-related lymphedema: a randomized trial. JAMA 2010; 304(24):2699-705.

  4. Chang CJ, Cormier JN. Lymphedema interventions: exercise, surgery, and compression devices. Semin Oncol Nurs 2013; 29(1):28-40.

  5. Cramp F, Byron-Daniel J. Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012; 11:CD006145.

  6. Schmitz KH, Courneya KS, Matthews C, et al. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010; 42(7):1409-26

Exercise Therapy


Initial Assessment

All new clients are required to have an initial assessment with a Back on Track Fitness Cancer Exercise Specialist before beginning their exercise rehabilitation program. The 75-minute initial assessment involves the following:


  • Comprehensive medical screening and cancer history

  • Biometric and Anthropometric data (E.g. blood pressure, body fat %)

  • Postural Analysis

  • Range of Motion Testing

  • Functional Movement Screening

  • Physical Function Testing (E.g. balance, strength, muscular endurance)

  • Cardiovascular Fitness Test (sub-maximal)


Once your tests are completed a treatment plan will then be designed based on your goals, training needs, testing results and any other individual requirements you may have. All of our exercise prescription and treatment plans are based upon the most current research and evidence for your specific cancer type and are tailored specifically to your needs, regardless of your starting point.

One-on-one Training

Our cancer recovery one-on-one training is an hour long hands on session with a Cancer Exercise Specialist. Exercise programs for sessions are based off an individuals testing results and goals completed in the initial assessment. This is perfect for someone who struggles to understand the proper movement and feeling of an exercise or is looking to learn what exercises are safe for their specific situation. 


Note: If looking to join a group class, it is highly recommended to complete a few one on one sessions first to get a thorough understanding of your individualized program.

Cancer Recovery Group Classes

Just like the one on one sessions, group classes focus on an individual's personal needs discussed in initial assessment. All classes are lead by a Cancer Exercise Specialist who oversees participants performing their individualized exercise programs. This class is less hands on with the Trainer, however, a sense of camaraderie can be created in group classes as all participants have a similar experiences.


There is a maximum of six (6) participants for each class 

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