Goof Schep

MD, PhD, Sports physician, Maxima Medical Center, The Netherlands

Goof Schep graduated as sportsphysician in 1996. He is one of the first Dutch sportsphysicians who works in a hospital environment and started in Máxima Medical Centre were he is still working now. Apart from treating athletes with sports injuries, he and his department are also active and innovating in clinical exercise testing and training of patients with cardiac, pulmonary or cancer disease. He received his PhD on research of the assessment and treatment of sports related vascular problems (title thesis: Flow limitations in the iliac artery in cyclists). Since 2001 he is involved in research into rehabilitation/training in cancer patients. He has been a member of the national committee that developed guidelines for oncologic rehabilitation (2011) and has been a member of the national committee involved in guideljnes for cardiac rehabilitation (2009-2014) and been awarded several national sportsmedicine prizes for his scientific work. Currently he is starting a project ‘fit with cancer’ aiming to incorporate assessment of fitness and implementation of tailored training in the treatment of cancer patients. He likes to train outdoor in nature. His own sports used to be triathlon and currently is mainly speed skating and cycling.

Most patients nowadays survive cancer, however due to effects of the disease and treatments in general their exercise capacity and fitness is greatly reduced. This translates to complaints of fatigue, suboptimal return to work and in elderly patients to increased need for help in daily activities. From a physiological point of view the underlying causes for loss in exercise capacity are often highly amenable to training. To reach the optimal training effect it is necessary to train before, during and after cancer treatment and to optimize the type and loading of training likewise as is done for a competitive athlete. In this lecture we will present the basic principles and a brief overview of the effects that are reached.

Quote: “We like to see more patients in the gym and less patients in bed. Cancer patients often suffer from tiredness and low physical exercise capacity. This leads to substantial decrease in QOL. In many cases this is trainable. If cancer patients suffer from tiredness and low exercise capacy on a long term basis they may adapt their lifestyle and accept the low exercise capacity as a fact. They may be glad that they have survived the disease and may score high in patient outcome measures that measure QOL. However if they were aware of the potential improvement with training almost none of them would not choose for training. Patients and health professionals need to be aware of physical fitness and the potential for training after diagnosis already at start of treatment An athlete trains to win a competion. Only few succeed. A cancer patient trains for better health, less complaints and improved fitness. Almost all succeed.”

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