This OncoReads Self-study discusses how a physical therapy-based exercise rehabilitation program can help to reduce fatigue and improve aerobic capacity in patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Primary Author Bio

Heather J. Leach, PhD, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified clinical exercise physiologist and cancer exercise trainer, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University. She graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, earned a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and went on to complete her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Houston. Additionally, she completed two-years of postdoctoral fellowship training in physical activity for cancer survivorship in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Dr. Leach has been working with clinical populations to promote exercise and active living, and teaching exercise science-related courses at the university level for over 10 years. Dr. Leach’s current research interests focus on 1) the social ecologic determinants of physical activity adoption and maintenance, 2) the physical and psychosocial benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors and other chronic disease populations, and 3) translation of physical activity intervention research into standard health care practice and sustainable community programming. She is a Transdisciplinary Training in Energetics & Cancer (TREC) National Cancer Institute Fellow, and recently completed the Physical Activity and Public Health Post Graduate Course on Research Directions and Strategies, Sponsored by the University of South Carolina and Centers for Disease Control. In 2018 she was awarded an American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant, which will fund her work in physical activity and cancer survivorship for the next five-years. She has presented her work nationally, and published in such peer-reviewed journals as Rehabilitation Oncology, Supportive Care in Cancer, Health Psychology, Current Oncology, and the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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Completion Instructions

Go to the OncoReads site and read the article, return to the Learning Center and complete the assessment with at least a 70% score.

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Heather Leach, PhD

Learning objectives

  1. Understand how to implement a physical therapy-based exercise program for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how exercise helps to reduce fatigue and improve aerobic capacity
  3. Be knowledgeable in the clinically significant differences of the outcome measures to determine effectiveness of the exercise


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Type:E-Learning Course
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Domains:oncology, oncoreads
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