How Physiotherapy can be Beneficial for Cancer Patients

How Physiotherapy can be Beneficial for Cancer Patients

Cancer is a life-altering diagnosis as one knows when facing this news-whether it is yourself or a loved one.  The options of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and so many more routes of treatment are given to consider depending on the diagnosis you’re facing.  It is well-documented and regularly discussed that each cancer throughout the body is not fought with one method and it’s a work in progress with the skilled oncologists to determine the best course of action.  What is not commonly discussed is how other health care professionals can be of assistance.  A physiotherapist can also be a contributing factor to the treatment plan because the care given can help to ensure one’s quality of life is improved during these hard times and the stress to the body which can happen is treated.

Commonly known, chemotherapy and radiation treatments could be options to treat the cancer but unfortunately, they can be extremely hard on the body.  Chemotherapy can cause damage to the nerves of your body and radiation can affect the cells that are nearby the malignant ones that are being treated.  Cancer treatments can cause fatigue, pain, muscle weakness, balance loss, and a reduction to quality of life.  These side effects can be short-term side effects while being in treatment or they may have long-lasting effects on the body after the cancer is treated.

How can a physiotherapist help? 

What is most important to us at VanCity Physio to ensure a multidisciplinary approach is used to include the other health care providers involved in treatment of this diagnosis.  One of our physical therapists can help to focus on strength training to help gain strength in the muscles as they can weaken during treatment. This helps to improve muscle tone but it also can boost mood and energy levels.  According to Brukner & Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine, those with renal or breast cancer have more successful outcomes when they participate in an exercise program.  The type of exercise that may be done would most likely include low-intensity and/or flexibility exercises. Another way your physical therapists can assist you is the help with your symptom management. They can also give indications of when its best to exercise and when it's best to rest. These are just a few examples of how physiotherapy can help but there is much more that can be done. 

What can be expected in the first appointment?

Upon your first visit, a full assessment will be done by your physical therapist.  This will include a thorough medical history to ensure any side effects of cancer treatments are addressed, any past injuries are taken into account in the treatment plan and a plan to ensure that prevention of post cancer issues are also considered.

We are committed to making a positive and effective effect on your cancer diagnosis, book in to see how we can help!

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