About ACE for Survivors

The purpose of the Alberta Cancer Exercise (ACE) Program is to support active lifestyles, and improvement of health outcomes, by offering community-based exercise programs for cancer survivors.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL TAKE PART IN THE ACE STUDY?

About 2500 people across Alberta will take part in this study. 

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE ACE STUDY?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will undergo screening and fitness testing  and will be referred to a suitable exercise program. The exercise program will take place at selected sites across Alberta or virtually, two times per week for a 12-week period

 

All participants will have measurements taken at the beginning and end of the 12-week study period to see the effect of exercise on their physical activity levels and quality of life. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING IN ACE?

Possible benefits from taking part in the program include better energy, improved strength and physical fitness and better overall health and wellness.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS FROM PARTICIPATING IN ACE?

You may experience side effects from participating in this study. The main side effect from exercise testing and training is secondary muscle soreness. You may notice that your muscles are sore for a couple of days after the testing session and during the first week or so of the exercise program.  We expect that these symptoms will get better as you get used to the exercise. 

 

Your sessions will be supervised and your program designed to minimize this risk by slowly increasing the amount and intensity of your exercise over time.  Your exercises will be modified as needed if you experience any excessive muscle soreness or fatigue from your exercise sessions.  

 

There is also a very small risk of heart issues (such as chest pain, irregular heart rate, heart attack) should you exercise too intensively. To avoid any risks associated with exercise, you will be screened to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you to take part in the exercise program. All exercise will be of a low to moderate intensity level to minimize the stress on the heart and body.  As well, we will monitor your vital signs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure) during the exercise testing and if needed, when you exercise at the community location. 

 

If any issues develop during the study period, your exercise sessions may be temporarily stopped or discontinued altogether.

STUDY PROCEDURES

You will be asked to complete the following fitness tests at the beginning and end of the 12-week exercise program. They will take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete each time. 

 

Fitness assessments:

  • Body composition measurement:  We will measure your height and body weight.  

    • If completing virtual testing, we will ask you to measure these if possible, or report a recent measure.

  • Aerobic endurance measurement: We will have you perform a 6-minute walk test in a hallway or on an indoor track to help us determine your aerobic fitness level. This is a submaximal test, meaning that you will walk at a moderate pace for the 6-minute time period. 

    • If completing virtual testing, we will have you perform a 2-minute step test in front of the camera. This is a submaximal test, meaning that you will march on the spot at a moderate pace for the 2-minute time period. 

  • Musculoskeletal fitness measurement: we will measure your grip strength, lower body strength and endurance (30 second Sit to Stand test), balance (one-legged stance test), and the flexibility of your core (sit-and-reach test) and shoulder (flexion).

    • If completing virtual testing, you may not do some of these tests depending on the equipment that you have available or if you don't have someone else around to help with the test.

  • Optional fitness tests: Depending on the location & type of exercise program that you will be completing, you may undergo additional fitness testing including the following: plank test (core endurance), maximal strength tests for upper (bench press) and lower (leg press) body, and/or additional shoulder flexibility measurements.

Study Questionnaires​

  • After enrolling into the program you will be provided with a link to an online questionnaire that will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

  • In the questionnaire you will be asked questions about your health status, symptoms related to cancer and its treatments, quality of life, and physical activity levels.

  • You will also be asked to complete these questionnaires at the end of the exercise program, and at 24 weeks and one year after starting the exercise program to determine if there have been any changes over the study period.


Any personal information collected as part of ACE is for research and programming purposes, and will be stored securely and remain strictly confidential.