Sami Mansfield is an oncology exercise specialist and the wellness program development manager for the University of Kansas Cancer Center, an NCI Cancer Center in Kansas City. Apart from University of Kansas Cancer Center, Ms. Mansfield runs her own organization, Cancer Wellness for Life.
While Ms. Mansfield has been actively involved with exercise since she was 16 years old, she began to focus her career exclusively on cancer in 2003. Her early focus was on helping people with breast cancer lose weight, recover from surgical limitations and use exercise to help with common late affects such as fatigue, chemobrain and lymphedema. Over time, her experience expanded into other disease types and stages of cancer, including for people undergoing bone marrow transplants for advanced cancer. Ms. Mansfield sees first-hand the importance of exercise in lessening side effects, maintaining strength and the ability to withstand and recover from treatments and surgeries. She is very passionate about the importance of exercise and motivates her own clinical staff to be more active and take care of themselves.
While each person she works with requires a personalized exercise program, nearly all patients feel better, get stronger and can function at a higher level than those who don’t exercise. Because each person is unique, having the ability to work with a highly trained cancer exercise specialist who understands the medical side of cancer is a significant advantage for those who access her services.
Ms. Mansfield joined the University of Kansas Cancer Center in 2010 and has found working with people from day 1 impacts their outcomes. She regularly joins a person's care team before they have their first surgery or treatment. Starting with each person before they begin treatment is an opportunity to assess their health and ability before treatment, guide them through each stage of treatment and get them back to a healthy and strong life.
Ms. Mansfield has been involved in several clinical trials looking at the impact and outcomes of exercise, and specifically a functional resistance program for those impacted by cancer. She is helping to create better measures for these and quality of life within KU Cancer Center. She is a certified cancer exercise trainer and a Crossfit Certified Level 1 trainer. She is actively working on blending these together to help people with cancer meet their goals and live a healthier life.