Kayt Howe’s recovery from Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma has been turbocharged, giving her more energy and helping her get back to her regular weight.
She's a member of Police Health (PH), the restricted membership not for profit health fund which brings you Emergency Services Health. Kayt's currently serving South Australia Police, and started Valion Health’s Cancer Support Program in April 2023 which helped her lose 10 kilograms and reduce her mental and physical fatigue.
She achieved that after Valion Health created a tailored program that included support from an Exercise Physiologist, a Dietician, a Psychologist, and some online yoga classes.
From the comfort of home
But what makes it extra impressive is that Kayt did all of this despite living in the country SA’s Yorke Peninsula, which like most rural areas in Australia have limited access to healthcare.
“This program was exactly what I needed,” Kayt said.
“I now have an exercise program that was tailored to my capacity, and the dietician gave me some excellent advice with a sensible eating plan instead of trying to crash diet.”
The program is available to eligible Police Health and Emergency Services Health members who have Gold Hospital cover or Gold Combined cover at no extra cost.*
What is Non-Hodgkin's Follicular Lymphoma?
The Cancer Council says that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system and includes the various lymph glands around the body. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma most commonly occurs in a lymph node but it can grow to form masses in organs or bones.
There are more than 60 sub-types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and they vary in how fast they grow and spread.
Life changing care
Kayt said she remains thankful to the staff who coordinated her program through phone calls and video calls.
“None of those services was otherwise easily accessible as I live in a small town…2.5hrs from Adelaide,” Kayt said.
“While I still fight with fatigue on a daily basis, the exercise program has significantly improved things and I expect to reap the rewards well into the future.”
“I really enjoyed the program and would recommend it to anyone else who may be struggling with the effects of chemo and cancer.”
Valion Health’s Danielle Parent is a registered nurse with extensive international experience, with oncology and haematology expertise. She said it was important to note the complexity of lymphoma and how Valion Health’s program helps participants like Kayt.
"As lymphoma can invade bone marrow and form masses in organs, treatments to cure lymphoma are often harsh,” Danielle said.
“Fatigue is a long-term side effect we see not only in members with lymphomas but across all cancers. It is one of the most common presenting complaints we encounter and can include both physical and cognitive impacts.”
“Fatigue doesn't stop because treatment is finished and it often requires specialist input to progress members towards recovery. Luckily, we have multiple disciplines in our program like exercise physiology, dietitians, psychologists and nurses who can tackle these and other persistent side effects from all angles."
A common diagnosis
Cancer Australia found that in 2018, non-Hodgkin lymphoma was the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.
It was estimated that it will remain the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2022. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma makes up approximately 90% of lymphoma cases in Australia.
In 2018, there were 6,438 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed in Australia (3,735 males and 2,702 females).
In 2022, it is estimated that 7,397 new cases of lymphoma will be diagnosed in Australia (4,267 males and 3,130 females), and it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 40 (or 2.5%) risk of being diagnosed with lymphoma by the age of 85 (1 in 35 or 2.9% for males and 1 in 48 or 2.1% for females).
How does the program work?
Available to our members* and fully-funded by Police Health / Emergency Services Health, this program is a 12-16 week tailored virtual care program that's provided by a team of experts in supportive cancer care for people with, or recovering from, cancer.
It’s delivered by our partner, Valion Health, who will connect with you using video call, phone and other tools to provide you with high quality, personalised cancer care and support from the convenience of your own home.
Valion Health will work with your medical team throughout the program, and services include;
- An initial assessment
- Three hours of nursing care coordination, provided by expert oncology nurses (including education and navigation)
- Two sessions with a Psychologist
- Six sessions with an Exercise Physiologist or Dietitian (depending on your needs)
- A repeat assessment at program completion to ensure all goals have been met
- Education modules and access to a participant app
- Your choice of either a Care Pack (exercise tracker, exercise bands, selection of care items and welcome note) or six online group yoga/exercise sessions.
For more information please feel free to contact us, or Valion Health directly on 1300 561 020 or by emailing [email protected].
*Waiting periods may apply, to be eligible you must meet the following criteria;
- Be covered with our Gold Hospital cover or Gold Combined cover
- Currently receiving active anti-cancer treatment, or, have completed treatment within the last 24 months, or, have a diagnosis of advanced (metastatic) or incurable cancer
- Be over 18 years of age
- Have a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone with a webcam and microphone and/or telephone