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PHSE408 Exercise and Cancer Recovery

An introduction to the effects cancer has on physiological systems relevant to exercise programming. Students will also be introduced to exercise testing and exercise prescription for individuals with cancer.

Survival rates following cancer diagnosis and treatment are improving; however, individuals do not always survive well. Cancer and the side effects of treatment can cause acute, late and long-term physical, physiological and psychological deficits that affect quality of life. Research in Exercise Oncology has contributed evidence that exercise can attenuate the impacts of cancer treatment and improve quality of life.

This paper will introduce students to cancer development, diagnosis, treatment and exercise precautions and benefits. The paper will focus on the most prevalent cancers (i.e. breast, prostate and colorectal). Students will also have the opportunity to work with clients who are currently participating in the EXPINKTTM (Exercise Training Beyond Breast Cancer) programme.

Paper title Exercise and Cancer Recovery
Paper code PHSE408
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1400
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,120.42
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,368.00

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PHSE 311
PHSE 508
Recommended Preparation
BIOC 192 and/or any 200-level PHSL paper
Suitable for students interested in understanding the complexities of exercise programming for cancer survivors
A B+/A- grade from PHSE 311 is preferred, and the paper is limited to 10-12 students.

Enrolments for this paper are limited and require departmental permission.
View more information about limitations of enrolment.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Lynnette Jones
Paper Structure
This paper is taught under the following themes:
  • Exercise prescription: active- and post-treatment
  • Aetiology, biology, epidemiology and diagnosis of cancer
  • Diagnosis and treatment of cancer
  • Exercise science and cancer
  • Screening, exercise testing and exercise programming
Teaching Arrangements
Lecture attendance is compulsory.
There is no required text for this paper. Readings for each area will be made available on Blackboard. Recommended texts will be available on close reserve in the library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Life-long learning.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this paper students should be able to:
  • Describe the biology of cancer development, diagnosis and screening protocols
  • Discuss cancer treatments and side effects of treatments that impact on exercise capacity and programming for the cancer survivor
  • Identify risks and benefits of exercise for cancer survivors at all stages of the cancer continuum
  • Develop and administer fitness assessments and exercise programmes specific to an individual's cancer diagnosis, treatment and current recovery status in context of current exercise guidelines
  • Critically examine research studies in the field of Exercise Oncology

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22