Cancer and Osteoporosis
Nearly all cancers can have significant negative effects on the skeleton. Cancer is a major risk for both generalized and local bone loss, with bone loss as assessed by bone mineral density (BMD) testing substantially higher in cancer patients than in the general population.
Both cancer and its treatments have pretty high odds of shutting down bone growth, either directly or else by shutting down or blocking the hormones that are required for bone growth. In women the affected hormones are mostly estrogens; in men, androgens.
Cancer treatments can also cause muscle weakness and balance issues. This, combined with weakened bones, makes cancer patients more prone to accidents resulting in broken bones.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
The BEST (Bone Exercise and Strength Training) Program is an evidence based targeted exercise program developed by Oncology Rehab and Wellness. The program not only restores bones, but also strengthens muscles, enhances balance, builds heart and lung capacity, improves posture—a host of benefits that all work together to produce greater whole-body health and reduce numerous risks at once.
Our program includes a full assessment of strength, posture, flexibility, balance and overall function followed by the development of a progressive exercise program based on your individual needs.
A physical therapist will assist you with selecting the therapies that are best suited to help in your specific situation. These will be tailored for the details of your current conditioning and any considerations stemming from cancer treatment, and could include things like:
- Stretching exercises
- Weight-bearing activities (functional strength training and may including walking or jogging)
- Resistance training (such as weight lifting or exercise band exercises)
- Balance and posture exercises
- “Bone-safe” education for everyday activities
- Nutritional and lifestyle advice
We now have BoneFit™-trained professionals at Oncology Rehab and Wellness
Cheryl Guarna, PT, MPT, CLT of Oncology Rehab and Wellness has recently completed the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation’s (BHOF) BoneFit™ USA training and is now a BoneFit™-trained professional.
About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, placing them at an increased risk of fractures. BoneFit™ is an evidence-informed exercise training workshop, designed for healthcare professionals and exercise specialists. It provides instruction on the most appropriate, safe and effective methods to prescribe and progress exercise for individuals with low bone density and minimize their risk of falls and fractures.
Cheryl's listing is available on the BHOF’s website.
What Our Patients Have to Say about the BEST PROGRAM
"What a difference a month makes! I remember sitting waiting for my therapist day 1 with such hip pain I was almost in tears. A month later I am now primarily pain free and I feel much stronger overall from the program you all put together for me. Anyway, THANK YOU again to ORW.
I now have the foundation needed to continue to get even stronger on my own, which is a huge goal. " ~ Margo
"What I valued most about the BEST Program was the one on one work with my PT, and the attention to detail about my specific needs. The program that my therapist and I developed will be a sound foundation to help me with my bone density.
This is a five star program." ~G.M.
I have always exercised, but when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 38 I wasn't sure what exercise is safe for me now. My PT helped me build a safe and effective program that will help me get stronger, but avoid serious injury.
ORW's BEST Osteoporosis Program is exactly what I need to help me to help me develop a safe, effective exercise program. ~ L.D.
"I was evaluated to see where I was physically and Cheryl listened to what cancer treatments and procedures I had been through, and what drugs I was currently on and she already knew how they would continue to affect me. She took the time to understand what was difficult for me, asked about aches and pains I was having, and what my goals were physically. Her evaluation was spot on. As ORW specializes and only works with cancer patients and survivors, the entire staff fully understood my situation beyond what a regular PT or exercise class could understand.” M.F.
"If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis this program will be life changing. On your journey with cancer and it's side effects this program is a must to help build bone, strength and your confidence in what is safe and effective for you". ~ Aminda
At Oncology Rehab and Wellness, we have an expert physical therapy and nutrition team who work together to help cancer patients prevent bone loss - or to increase bone density if already diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
If you are recovering from cancer treatment, and are concerned about your bone health now or in the future, physical therapy is a great first place to start rebuilding.
Schedule your free 15-minute consultation to learn more about the how our physical therapy program can help you.