Patient with cancer may present with problems managing pain- physical, psychological and spiritual in nature. pain can lead to a vicious cycle of fear , inactivity and further disability as a consequence and therefore increase length of hospital stay. physiotherapy has been shown to reduce the length of inpatient stay, with fewer nights as an inpatient representing better quality of life.
physiotherapy reduce future health complications, improve body image and can improve an individual’s ability. To restore strength, endurance and vitality,make rehabilitation part of your cancer treatment.
when someone is undergoing cancer treatment, physical therapy may not be the first healthcare field that comes to mind, early cancer treatment is met with oncologists, radiologists, nurses and surgeons. rightly so,as these health care practitioner are essential to the treatment and management of cancer. However, you should also consider the role of physical therapy in your cancer recovery.
Evidence show that exercise reduces the risk of cancer recurrence and mortality.
cancer and it’s treatments are associated with a wide range of distressing physical and psychological symptoms, which can affect patients for many years following the end of treatment.
physiotherapy or exercise can improve quality of life for cancer patients, regardless of the type and stage of their disease.
physiotherapy can address common cancer related impairments including;
chemotherapy/ radiotherapy induced side effect-
- skin and soft tissue fibrosis
- effects of radiation- loss of elastcity vascularity and moisture, contracture, tissue thickening and edema.
- management- moisturizing creams, splinting and orthotics, stretching exercise.
cancer related fatigue-
- individualized aerobic training, strength training and functional managment training is known to reduce effects of cancer related fatigue, both during and after medical cancer treatments.
- there are many pain relief strategies that can reduce the intensity and frequency of pain after cancer treatment.
- specifically, treatment strategies including soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic massage, modalities, therapeutic stretching and strengthening.
- Effective lymphedema managment is accomplished through manual lymph drainage,range of motion exercise, aerobic exercise, elevation and lymphatic bandaging.(caution-risk of mobilizing tumor cells)
- Rebuilding endurance for activities and cardiovascular function can be difficult during and after cancer treatment.
- a physiotherapist is able to educate and monitor cardiovascular endurance training.
- For men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and women undergoing treatment for bladder or ovarian cancer,incontinence and sexual dysfunction are common.
- A physiotherapist can help to rebuild the strength of the pelvic floor and also give bladder and bowel training in order to improve urinary continence and reduce pain.
- some people with cancer may experience depression before, during, or after cancer treatment. a physiotherapist can help to reduce stress, develop a support system, and reshape negative thoughts.
“Strength doesn’t come from, what you can do.
It comes from overcoming the things, you once thought you couldn’t….”
- often times, cancer survivors experience peripheral neuropathy, which is abnormal nerve function that can be experienced as pain, numbness and tingling.
- physical therapy can help to improve nerve function or compensate for nerve dysfunction.
The good news is that it is never too late to utilize rehabilitation services for cancer recovery. if you find that you are having trouble accomplishing daily tasks or functioning at your prior level of independence, seek out a rehabilitation expert and regain your vitality.
And always remember: “NEVER GIVE UP, GREAT THINGS TAKE TIME…”