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September 23, 2011

Exercise Classes Offered to Cancer Patients

Cancer treatments can cause a variety of side effects, including a loss of strength and energy. “Exercising, using weights and improving core strength and balance will help to minimize treatment side effects and increase endurance and energy,” said Ellen Brotzman-DeSart, education coordinator for the Side-by-Side program at Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University in Springfield. 

The Simmons Cancer Institute is offering a new exercise class to help cancer patients minimize side effects of treatments and improve strength. The free classes will be offered on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning Tuesday, October 4. Tuesday classes will be held from 7:15-7:45 a.m., and Friday classes (starting October 7) will be held from 12:15-12:45 p.m. All classes will be held at Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI), 315 W. Carpenter St.

Sara Mansfield, a certified cancer exercise specialist, will lead the classes, which will focus on strengthening the core using light weights, exercise bands, balance pads, exercise balls and more. The equipment will be provided, and the exercises will be customized to meet the ability of participants.

“Exercising during treatment can also reduce fatigue, elevate mood and promote restful sleep,” Brotzman-DeSart added. Exercise is also vital in cancer prevention and recurrence.    

For more information, call Ellen at 217-545-0798 weekdays.

The mission of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through education, research, patient care and community service.  Its website is