Ep 24. Dr. Amy Kirkham - Modifying exercise during chemotherapy/protecting against cardio-toxicity.

Dr. Amy Kirkham is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Alberta. In this episode, we chat about chemotherapy based periodization and how to modify exercise according to chemotherapy cycles and how you're feeling. We also chat about the role of exercise in mitigating cardiovascular toxicity from chemotherapy. 

Ep 23: Designing an exercise program for cancer patients and survivors

In this episode I dive a little deeper into some of the considerations (both cancer and non-cancer related) for putting together a program for a cancer patient or survivor. I chat about how the cancer type, treatment and point along the cancer continuum can affect the exercise prescription, and the goals of that phase of training.  

Ep 21: Dr. Robert O’Connor: Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society


We chat about what Rob’s role as the Head of Research and the type of research the Irish Cancer Society funds. We also talk about how to sift through common cancer myths and how to improve the communication of the scientific evidence to combat fear mongering and quacks.

To hear what the Irish Cancer Society is up to check out www.cancer.ie  or follow Robert on Twitter @DrRobertOConnor. Be sure to check out the Decoding Cancer talks on Irish Cancer Society facebook page for great free information on all things cancer. 

Show notes:

3:30 – Robert’s background and what he does as head of research as the Irish Cancer Society

5:40 – The Irish Cancer Society’s four areas of intervention

8.40 -  How has the public’s awareness of risk factors for cancer changed and what impact has the internet/social media had?

13.05 – Scare tactics in spreading information about cancer risk.

18.30 – How to improve the communication of scientific evidence in areas of cancer.

33.30 – Common cancer myths debunked: cancer is not a single disease, modern life doesn’t cause cancer etc.

45:00 – Lifestyle behaviors and cancer risk – don’t take it so serious. Having flexibility to improve quality of life.

51:00 – Some of the more important areas of inquiry to improve cancer care in Ireland.

56:00 – Decoding Cancer – Free talks to the general public about all areas of cancer research


Ep 20: Justin Brown: Research in exercise, diet and colorectal cancer.

Justin is a research fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute. In this episode, we chat about colorectal cancer and how diet and exercise can help patients and survivors. We also chat about some important considerations for working with this population, such as working around ostomy bags and how to modify exercise accordingly.


Show Notes 

0:30 – Colorectal cancer – What it is and what are some modifiable risk factors.


5:00 – Treatment of colorectal cancer and common side effects.


8:00 – Staging of cancer and their effects on the course of treatment.


12:00 – Making sense of a messy field – recommendations for dietary patterns to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.


18.00 – How physical activity can help colorectal cancer patients and survivors.


24.00 – What might be happening biologically with exercise in colorectal cancer patients to stop cancer from growing.


38.00 – Side effects of treatment unique to colorectal cancer and common modifications to exercise.


47:00 – Exercise considerations with an ostomy bag.


49.00 – Cancer and its treatment don’t make exercise dangerous, they just provide scenarios to problem solve and modify exercise accordingly.


51.00 – What are the barriers to establishing exercise as a standard of cancer care.


59.00 – Advice to colorectal cancer patients/survivors looking to start an exercise program

Ep 19: Nicole Culos Reed Pt 2 – Research translation & educating health professionals.

In part 2 of our interview, myself and Nicole chat about one of the biggest areas of improvement in our field, improving the communication of our research. We chat about establishing relationships with physicians and oncologists along with educating health professionals on working the cancer patients and survivors.


See what Nicole’s up to at www.thrivehealthservices.com or follow her on twitter @NCulosReed. Find out more about us at www.reachbeyondcancer.com or find me on twitter @ciaranfairman.

Ep 18: Kylee Sacksteder Part 2: Residency during treatment, Jimmy John & Exercise.

If you haven’t listened to part 1 of Kylee’s interview, go check out episode 15. Kylee is in the final year of her dermatology residency. Having moved to Columbus a few years ago, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In part 2 of the interview, we chat about how Kylee balanced her residency whilst going through treatment, how she modified her exercise during treatment and what it was like trying to eat during chemo. We have an important discussion about the meat to sandwich ratio at Jimmy John’s, along with Kylee’s perspective on keto during cancer treatment.  


A huge thanks to Kylee for sharing her story!  For more cancer and health related topics, find me on twitter @ciaranfairman, or go to reachbeyondcancer.com to find out more about what we do.      


Show notes  

4.00 – Balancing cancer treatment and residency coursework.

7.00 – When the more pronounced side effects of chemo (such as hair loss) started to kick in.

10.40 – Reflecting on the journey through treatment and her mindset throughout.

16.00 – Modifying exercise during treatment.

19.00 – Getting a blood clot and receiving treatment.

22.00 – The challenges of being a physician with worried parents.

26.30 – Listening to your body with exercise during treatment.

29.00 – Trying to eat during treatment and some of the challenges with it. Very important discussion surrounding Jimmy John’s meat to sandwich ratio.

32.00 – Kylee’s perspective on ketogenic diet during cancer treatment.

34.00 – Not getting special treatment and how it was important to Kylee that people treated her “normally”.

38.00 – Some of the side effects a year out of treatment.

42.00 – Kylee’s perspective on exercising during treatment and how to establish exercise as a standard of care. Making exercise fit a person.

Ep 17: Sami Mansfield – Crossfit & cancer/ “cancer wellness for life” programs educating patients and clinical staff.

Sami Mansfield is a cancer exercise specialist and founder of Cancer Wellness for Life. She provides educational content about cancer wellness to clinical staff in hospitals and organizations, along with patients and survivors. Sami also runs “BUILD” a functional program run through a crossfit gym in Kansas, that is designed to combat treatment related side effects and improve the quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. In this episode, we chat about Sami’s programs, how she started collaborating with hospitals and what the BUILD program does for cancer patients and survivors.

Find out more about Sami at www.cancerwellnessforlife.com, @cancerwellnessforlife on Instagram and @bewellwithsami on twitter.

Keep up with us at reachbeyondcancer.com or follow me on twitter @ciaranfairman.



Sami Show notes


3:30 – Sami’s background & how she got started working with cancer patients and survivors.

6.00 – Cancer terminology is like learning a new language.

8.45 – How moving into survivorship can be a really challenging period.

10.00 – Challenges with research based exercise prescription & getting physician buy-in.

15.30 – Physical activity guidelines is not on physicians, it’s on exercise physiologists.

19.30 – What do we mean when we say strength training for cancer patients. The risk of inactivity by far outweighs the risks of exercises.  

25.00 – Improving the translation of research – moving beyond professionals talking to each other.

26.00 – Sami’s Cancer Wellness for Life program: what it is and what she does.

40.00 – 5 year survival rates have improved across a lot of cancer - but we care about quality of life, not just quantity.

44:00 – Sami’s BUILD program and working with cancer patients and survivors.

52.00 – The community aspect of BUILD and crossfit.

56.00 – People looking to join the BUILD program – what to expect.

61.00Advice for professionals getting into the area.