Cancer and cancer treatments, while potentially life saving cause physical and functional complications for cancer patients. Of all cancer treatment complications, one of the most prevalent is cancer-related deconditioning. As defined by Wikipedia: Deconditioning is the adaptation of an organism to a less demanding environment, or, alternatively, the decrease of physiological adaptation to normal conditions. Deconditioning…

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Cancer rehabilitation, or physical therapy specialized in the treatment of cancer-related impairments is an available service for cancer patients and survivors that to date remains highly underutilized.  Interventions can help throughout the continuum of cancer care from the time of diagnosis though treatment and into palliative care and can assist patients with living their best…

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Many cancer patients and survivors deal with the after-effects of cancer treatment, such as pain and impaired functioning.  Many of these “late effects” can linger even years after cancer treatment has ended.  Nevertheless, few patients receive the needed care to address these issues.  Cancer rehabilitation, or physical therapy specializing in the physical problems related to…

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Multiple national agencies (eg. The American College of Sports Medicine, American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and The National Cancer Institute) all now recommend “avoidance of inactivity” for cancer patients.  As of last month, the above agencies, in cooperation with international experts in exercise oncology now recommend specific guidelines and activity recommendations for cancer…

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Three Things You Should Know about Cancer Rehabilitation Despite improved outcomes for cancer patients due to ongoing advancements in cancer care, cancer and its treatments can often cause debilitating physical problems to include weakness, stiffness, balance loss, cognitive decline.  These effects can interfere with survivors’ recovery, their ability to complete treatment successfully and may decrease…

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Pain after breast surgery?  How can rehab help?   Breast surgery is a lifesaving treatment for many women diagnosed with breast cancer.  If you and your cancer team have determined that breast surgery will be part of your treatment plan, you will be advised on what to expect after your surgery.  One side effect on…

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In our continuing highlight of specific therapists and services and their roles in cancer rehabilitation, this month we discuss the role of Certified Lymphedema Therapists in the treatment of patients with cancer. What is lymphedema? The lymphatic system plays a critical role in the maintenance of fluid balance in the body. It absorbs the fluid…

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FIGHTING CANCER RELATED FATIGUE WITH EXERCISE No longer is a cancer diagnosis a time to stop all physical activity and take it easy.  Quite the opposite.  Current research is recommending that patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation remain as active as possible.  The benefits of exercise within the general population are well-known. Historically, it has not…

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Throughout a person’s cancer experience, it is critical to maintain the things in life that are important to you – energy, activity level, relationships. In fact, research shows that an active lifestyle that includes exercise can actually enhance your body’s recovery and contribute to a better quality of life during and after cancer treatment. Life…

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I’m not usually one who says things like, “it takes a special person to do so and so,” but breast cancer survivors are special people. I’ve found that working with survivors challenges me and makes me want to go to work every day! We all know that exercise is good for us. We all know…

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