We want to be your partners through treatment, recovery and into survivorship…
Why cancer patients benefit from physical therapy services
Today there are more than 14 million Americans alive with a history of cancer. The number of people diagnosed with cancer is increasing, but mortality rates are decreasing.
A growing need for physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Cancer and cancer treatments including surgery have profound musculoskeletal, functional and cardiovascular effects. We are dedicated to assisting patients through the physical challenges of cancer treatment and recovery. Our clinicians are specifically trained in the recognition and treatment of various side effects that can result from chemotherapy, radiation, cancer surgery, and hormonal therapies. These side effects can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Some of the side effects that can be addressed are cancer related fatigue, balance & gait problems, deconditioning &/or weakness, restricted mobility, scar tissue formation, and lymphedema.
There is strong evidence to support conservative management of these impairments through physical therapy, in order to improve physiological and functional performance, quality of life and survival outcomes. Since individuals experience different impairments during and after cancer treatment, it is important to have a personalized evaluation to provide focus to your rehabilitation.
Who Can Benefit
- Cancer patients who are newly diagnosed and need to prepare for treatment by improving their general wellness, conditioning and strength;
- Cancer patients who are undergoing treatment and need to maintain a safe exercise program to manage the effects of cancer treatments on strength, endurance, mobility, function;
- Cancer survivors who may need assistance recovering from cancer and cancer treatment-related problems, including (but not limited to):
- Activity intolerance
- Joint stiffness & lack of mobility
- Soft tissue injury
- Swelling in arms &/or legs
- Difficulty walking
- Balance problems
- Numbness in hands/feet
By treating these conditions, patients are more likely to stay on their radiation/chemotherapy schedules without delays, demonstrate improved mobility, strength & endurance, experience decreased pain and ultimately improve their quality of life.
**Special note for breast cancer**
Survivors of breast cancer may continue treatment in the form of hormonal therapies for at least 5 years after completing their other cancer treatments. These therapies have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. However, there are physical side effects of these medications that can have a negative impact on one’s overall health and quality of life. Some of these possible side effects include osteoporosis, athersclerosis (hardening of the arteries), joint or muscle pain, and weight gain (which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence).
These side effects can be significantly diminished by participating in a regular exercise program that includes cardiovascular activity, resistance training, core strengthening, and flexibility exercises. It is very important to establish and be consistent with a regular exercise routine if you are undergoing hormonal treatments. Treatment that facilitates proper tissue healing after breast reconstructive surgery is also beneficial.
- One-on-one centered care from experienced therapists in a nurturing and private environment
- Individualized rehabilitation program to combat side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
- Manual therapy techniques including stretching, postural re-education, scar tissue management
- Lymphedema risk management
- Cardiovascular training
- Strength and endurance training
- Balance training and fall prevention
- Injury prevention
- Patient, family and caregiver education/training
Ideally, services will be provided during diagnosis, treatment phases, remission periods and throughout recovery and survival.