Free Exercise Program for Women with Cancer

Free Exercise Program for Women with Cancer

we_can_do_it_pink_ribbonJust a few blocks from my Integrative Cancer Care and Wellness Medicine clinic in Santa Monica, California, the local chapter of the YMCA hosts Encore: A Free Program for  Women with Cancer.  The program provides  access to free exercise and group support classes for women who have had breast cancer treatment recently or at any time in their lives.  Reach out to the YMCA in your area to find out if similar programs are available for you and your loved ones as encore ymca is a national and an international program for Women with Breast Cancer operating in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

ywca encore is a free eight- week program of specially designed exercise, support and information for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their life.

ywca encore helps women with the after-effects of breast cancer surgery and treatment, helping to restore strength, mobility and flexibility, confidence and general wellbeing.

The ywca encore exercises were developed in conjunction with health professionals and the program is overseen by an advisory board of health professionals.

Additionally, many local YMCA locations also offer support groups,  free classes on  breast exams and cervical exams to promote early detection of breast and cervical cancers.  Many locations also offer  access to low cost breast and cervical cancer screenings and more.

I serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of Fran Drescher’s CancerSchmancerFoundation.org which is dedicated to providing access to cancer screening especially to low income women by bringing mobile diagnostic units on wheels into poor and medically underserved communities!   Screening saves women’s lives!!  Support these projects and organizations!

Breast Cancer is a treatable cancer and as my esteemed colleague and master breast surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk, M.D., Founder of the Pink Lotus Breast Center says, “If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you should expect to live.”

Exercise Can Dramatically Lower Your Cancer Risk.  So you might as well get in shape as studies show that as little as 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (30 minutes 5 days per week) profoundly reduces both risk of occurrence and risk of recurrence of breast cancer.  Exercise is a boon to your immune system (and your heart, lungs, kidneys, muscles and brain!)

Learn More in my #1 Best Seller

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Here is what participants have to say

Thank you for the Encore Program – what an opportunity it provides … such
a big support for this challenging journey we are all on.” 
NL Age 50

“Encore has been the best!  It is the most life affirming support program
with such a fantastic group of women!” 
SM Age 40

“Encore has helped me discover that the feelings of fear, anger and
self-pity are normal, and that with time these feelings can be conquered.”
JB  Age 35

The  Encore Program | Free Exercise Program for Women with Cancer

Encore is a highly respected program developed over 30 years ago by the YWCA of the USA and a team of medical, health and exercise specialists. Combining peer support with exercise, Encore is unique in it’s programming.  Using pool exercise specifically designed to help women recover range of motion and flexibility after cancer surgery, plus other healing modes of exercise, Encore is offered free of charge*

 *First year of membership is free, aqua classes are free, other exercise classes have fee.

Helping physical wellbeing

After breast cancer surgery and treatment, many women experience numbness, pins and needles, a loss of mobility and strength and discomfort in their upper bodies. Simple things like pegging the washing and carrying children can become difficult.

The ywca encore exercises help strengthen arms, shoulders and chest and improve flexibility and mobility. The exercises also help to improve general fitness and wellbeing, reduce the risk of lymphedema, aid the management of lymphedema and reduce fatigue associated with treatment.

Helping emotional wellbeing

ywca encore is a holistic program, helping to create positive self esteem and body image and a positive attitude to life and health.

The sessions are also an opportunity for women to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment and connect with other women in their local area who understand what it is like to experience breast cancer. Many great friendships have been formed at ywca encore programs.

ywca encore welcomes women who have experienced breast cancer at any stage of their life.

Whether you are recovering from recent breast cancer surgery and treatment, or you had breast cancer many years ago, you will still receive many benefits from the program. Women of all ages take part in ywca encore.

ywca encore was originally developed in the USA in the 1970s by a ballet teacher who had experienced breast cancer and saw the need to help other women with similar experiences to rebuild their physical and emotional strength. The program was set up and expanded through YWCA USA.

ywca encore came to Australia in 1983. The ywca encore program also operates in New Zealand, Canada and Japan.

YWCA Encore Program Highlights:

  • Comfortable, informal peer support

  • Community links to cancer health and wellness professionals

  • 2 different aqua exercise classes weekly

  • Access to 14 different exercise and yoga classes weekly

  • Library of health/cancer-related books and audio

  • Input from a professional Advisory Committee

ywca encore was originally developed in the USA in the 1970s by a ballet teacher who had experienced breast cancer and saw the need to help other women with similar experiences to rebuild their physical and emotional strength. The program was set up and expanded through YWCA USA.

ywca encore came to Australia in 1983 and 2013 sees ywca encore celebrate 30 years in Australia. The ywca encore program also operates in New Zealand, Canada and Japan.

The Encore Program is grateful for the support and guidance provided by its  Santa Monica-West Los Angeles Advisory Committee

Rebecca Crane-Okada, PhD, RN, AOCN

Clinical Nurse Researcher, Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Breast Center
John Wayne Cancer Institute, Saint John’s  Health Center
(310) 829-8950

Maggie Lee DiNome, MD, SACS
General Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist, Cancer Liaison Physician
American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
(310) 828-8399

Linda Hirsch
Los Angeles Breast Cancer Alliance, Executive Board
“Me Again” Breast Prosthesis Fitter
(310) 392-6308

Emily Iker, MD
Director of Lymphedema Center, Santa Monica
(310) 829-7472

Dr. Jeanne Lisella
Chiropractor, Women’s Health Specialist
(310) 396-5014

Jean McNeil-Wyner
Community Liaison, Santa Monica – UCLA Medical Center
(310) 319-4471

Rita Perrella, MD
Board Certified Radiologist
(310) 828-8110

Michelle Rakoff
Director of Breast Friends, Memorial Care Breast Center
Los Angeles Breast Cancer Alliance, Executive Board
NBCC Field Coordinator, Breast Cancer Survivor
(562) 933-7815

Joseph Sciabbarrasi, MD
General and Preventive Medicine, Classical Homeopathy (Acupuncture, Herbs)
(310) 268-8466

Michael States, MFCC
Program Administrator, Wellness Community
(310) 314-2555

Marilou Terpenning, MD
Medical Oncologist, Private Practice, Santa Monica
(310) 453-5654

Karen Van Kirk
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Team Survivor LA
Breast Cancer Survivor
(310) 477-8557

Marina Vaysburd, MD
Medical Oncologist/Hematologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
(310) 385-3297

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