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Harris County has highest rate of breast cancer diagnoses in women in Texas

YMCA offering FREE classes to cancer survivors to improve quality of life and decrease fatigue

HOUSTON – By far, Harris County sees the greatest amount of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases in women in the state. Every year, an average of 2,295 new cases are diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As treatments for all types of cancer become more effective, the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis continues to grow rapidly. This is why the YMCA of Greater Houston is offering free, 12-week classes that have proven through studies with the Yale Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute to:

• Meet or exceed the recommended amount of physical activity for cancer survivors
• Help survivors significantly increase their cardiovascular endurance
• Increase cancer survivors’ overall quality of life and decrease cancer-related fatigue

Called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, the evidence-based program is open to cancer survivors ages 18 and up currently in treatment or who have completed treatment. A YMCA membership is not required and the program is of no cost to the individual.

Two, 90-minute weekly sessions are modified to meet all participants’ needs. Some participants perform gentle stretching and low-impact exercises while sitting in a chair. Others may lift light weights and engage in modified Zumba movements. Some use the treadmill and exercise bikes to build strength and balance.

All instructors are certified with 16 hours of training.

“There is something about being physically active and having fun together that really bonds people in a special way,” said Lharissa Jacobs, director of Community Health at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “People feel their LIVESTRONG group can understand them in a way that their friends and families might not be able to because they have all faced the same challenges.”

The LIVESTRONG program also includes a fellowship component that allows participants to share their stories. And, guest speakers discuss topics such as nutrition and mind-body connection.

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