Exercise and diet are essential to a healthy lifestyle, but for many cancer patients and survivors, a good diet and exercise can prolong life by lowering the risk of breast cancer recurrence. The ThriveWell Cancer Foundation empowers cancer patients and survivors to thrive beyond treatment through programs such as DIVA (Deriving Inspiration and Vitality through Activity). The program gives those with breast cancer a fighting chance beyond treatment. SciTech Now sits down with an oncologist who introduces us to the program.
One of the most compelling reasons for starting the DIVA program was to educate women about the importance of exercise. Exercise is imperative to these women’s health because of the continuous changes their bodies endure through treatment and after.
“We saw that they just weren’t doing it … many women can’t afford to pay for a gym membership,” said Oncologist, Dr. Amy Lang. “By offering them free classes in a safe environment that’s indoors with other people that have gone through what they’re going through, it’s become a sisterhood.”
DIVA is dedicated to three areas: exercise, nutrition, and artful healing. The nutrition program offers monthly gatherings to give women the opportunity to share, exchange information and learn together. But, just as effective is their exercise programs, offered at five different locations across San Antonio. They’re specifically formulated to the needs of women going through treatment, or recovering from it. They target range of motion and cardiovascular endurance, all while improving self-image, which is essential to the women who have gone through a mastectomy or have encountered hair loss due to treatment.
In keeping the positivity afloat, art classes are also offered. Women are able to choose from storytelling, poetry, painting and sculpting classes to name a few. The objective is to create a lifestyle that can easily be incorporated outside of the center.
Watch this compelling episode of SciTech Now airing Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. on KLRN.