The Program is delivered by certified STEEL Cancer Rehab Physiotherapists and provides a full range of services designed to care, support and guide men through every stage of their treatment and recovery.
The STEEL rehabilitation program is chronologically formatted into 4 phases. The timing of each phase is dependent upon the persons’s physical condition, the length of the healing process, the type of surgery involved and the courses of adjuvant treatments.
STEEL represents the strength, courage and resolve of the men we see after a cancer diagnosis.
Men's rehabilitation needs are different to women's. Regaining physical strength and stamina can really help men with the mental stuff as well!
Nick White, Head and neck cancer survivor, Wellington
Find out what other men say about the STEEL Program
"After the shock and then trauma associated with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of my melanoma I needed to find something constructive I could focus on to bring back some normality to my life. To be able to start a program of pro-actively healing my body with Vicky and her Steel Cancer Rehab program at Central Lakes Physiotherapy was the first step in regaining control over my life and health.
After my surgery I was bombarded by the potential negative side effects of a full axillary node clearance and of course you need to be careful but I needed to start thinking positively and working around these limitations and focusing on what I could do to minimise the side effects and get back to my active lifestyle.
Vicky was fantastic right from the start and listened to what was important for me and what we needed to do to start on my pathway to regaining my fitness, health and general feeling of wellbeing. The program was a combination of physio sessions and ‘home-work exercises and treatment’ that would help heal the scar tissue, nerve damage and mobility and use of my left shoulder.
The results and the process where fantastic. My doctors and surgeons could not believe the softening of the scar tissue around my wound site. The nerve pains and chording I was suffering earlier are now hardly recognisable with only a slight numbing sensation. My shoulder mobility is quite astounding really with nearly full range of motion regained and I am now back kayaking!
What I liked about working with Vicky is that she listened and worked with me at my pace. I am quite a driven person and Vicky enabled me to use this drive to positively work on the rehab process even when we chucked obstacles such as a broken arm in the way!
For anyone going through the process of cancer treatment or cancer rehabilitation I not only recommend but encourage you to try the Steel Program."
Patrick Harvey, Melanoma
"Prior to going through the STEEL Program I thought I had reached a plateau in my recovery from surgery and chemotherapy so it has been a great relief to see such an improvement. I have very much appreciated the caring, friendly way everyone has communicated with me and urged me on to accomplish a little more each time, than I really thought possible. The atmosphere is such a positive one it has been something I’ve looked forward to each week”.
Dave, Prostate Cancer
"Mine’s a typical story for an active, older man who’s getting closer to his “use-by-date”. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer requiring hormone treatment to suppress the tumour and a period of radiation therapy to try to kill the bugger off.
The side effects of the radiation treatment were, as predicted, debilitating but manageable. The hormone treatment, still ongoing, is rather more insidious. It brings on a kind of menopause in men, with a lot of the attendant problems that women in menopause also suffer; “hot-flushes”, muscle weakness, thinning of bones and some weird feminising changes to a bloke’s body.
Bone thinning was confirmed about twelve months into the hormone treatment and a recommendation came from the radio-oncology specialist that I should look at a physiotherapist-supervised exercise programme for cancer patients called “Pinc and Steel”.
I had been following the generic advice to exercise with light weights during treatment, but the bone thinning side-effect requires a more specific stressing of bones to promote bone replacement growth. So off I went to a STEEL Physio in Dunedin.
The versatility of the resistance apparatus for targeting specific rehabilitation needs impressed me, as did the supporting free weight and Pilates based activities, though I didn’t expect to get much improvement to my lost strength. The surprise has been the general improvement in strength and balance. I’ve been able to steadily increase the loads and the returning strength has made me a lot more confident. I was getting pretty tentative getting about the place. I put the improvement in agility and balance down, not just to the improvement in strength, but also to the targeting of core body stability that is part of the program.
As they’ve got to know my specific needs, extensions to meet these needs have been built into my program. The improved confidence in my balance and strength is enabling me to tackle things that I was putting off.
A tailored maintenance and rehabilitation programme is clearly needed during the treatment and recovery phases of cancer but I’d go further and say that, even before I became unwell, I would have benefitted from a structured and targeted program like this to help stave off the general effects of ageing"
Glen, Prostate Cancer