During your teenage years, physical changes are a part of normal development. You may notice a difference in the way your body looks, feels and performs. But for teen cancer survivors, these changes are especially difficult. Understanding which changes are normal and which are related to cancer can get confusing and stressful. During and after treatment you may experience:
- Hair loss
- Decreased physical skills, including athletic capabilities, balance, and agility
- Weakness or loss of stamina
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
To help combat these issues, Teens Living with Cancer (TLC) at Roswell Park has developed a program called TLC Fit, which specifically helps teen and young adult cancer survivors cope with these changes and rebuild their strength, muscles, and confidence after their cancer treatment is over.
The 10-week fitness and nutrition program is led by Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the owner of Body Blocks Fitness, Bob Bateson, alongside nutritional education from Carol DeNysschen, PhD, associate professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Buffalo State College.
At the beginning of each session, the teens meet with Carol for the nutrition portion of the program — consisting of nutritional education, goal-setting and short quizzes. For the next hour and a half, the teens complete a workout led by Bob.
The empowering program encourages the teens to work together and cheer each other on. The teens improve their health, but they also make a serious, long-term commitment to living a healthy lifestyle – so they can feel the best they have ever felt.
To learn more about this program, check out the TLC Facebook Page.