What is Cancer?

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Today, 15.5 million Americans with a history of cancer are living in the U.S.  

The good news is that more than 30% of cancer may be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active, moderating the use of alcohol, and maintaining immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.  Additionally, cancers of major public health relevance such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be treated adequately and cured if detected early.  Learn more about cancer screening.

Living Strong and Well with Cancer

Living Strong Living Well is a strength & fitness program for cancer survivors. In partnership with the Stanford Health Improvement Plan, the YMCA of San Francisco proudly offers this program. 

Living Strong Living Well is a 12-week strength and fitness program for adult cancer survivors who have recently become deconditioned or chronically fatigued from treatment or disease. 

Participants meet twice per week for 75 minutes in a small group setting (6-10 people). You’ll experience a supportive, friendly environment where our certified and caring staff will give you personalized attention to meet your functioning ability. 

Thanks to generous funding provided by YMCA donors, Living Strong Living Well is available to participants at NO COST, and includes a free Y membership while you’re enrolled.

We’ll help you:

  • Reduce the severity of your side effects
  • Address unwanted weight changes
  • Improve your strength and stamina
  • Increase energy and confidence


Living Strong Living Well is available at 3 YMCA locations across our service area and is available 3 times annually.  You will complete registration to join this program via the Stanford Health Improvement website:

  1. Visit lslw.stanford.edu
  2. Choose the most convenient location, date and time
  3. Click on the red “register” button near the bottom of the homepage
  4. We’ll call you to follow-up 


Participant Testimonial:

"After a second major surgery in four months I was so weak I could hardly get out of bed. I found the brochure for Living Strong Living Well program in my radiologist's office and wanted to come. I called the program to see if I could come when I felt strong enough and they urged me to come right away.... The encouragement of the LSLW staff, the commitment to come twice a week, and the company of other class members made a big difference in my morale and my progress toward health."


World Health Organization, 2017, http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/cancer/facts/en/ 
American Cancer Society, 2017, https://www.cancer.org