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Cancer survivors hit the gym

Pilot to improve outcomes through exercise moves to the mainstream


​Pilot programs, be they on television or in cancer centers, come and go. A precious few, though, find a devoted audience and become a core offering.

That’s been the case with BFitBWell, which the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center rolled out in late 2013. The idea was to get patients with a cancer diagnosis or already in treatment (collectively called “cancer survivors”) exercising, which research shows to be as good for cancer survivors as it is for the general population.

Tom Purcell, MD, MBA, the Cancer Center’s medical director, pulled together money from grateful patients and other sources and worked with John Peters, PhD, the Wellness Center’s chief strategy officer, and his staff to develop exercise programs tailored to individual cancer survivors. As of early 2014, the program was enrolling about four patients a month.