Ranchuelo After being diagnosed with Stage II cancer in his last year of PT school, Scott Capozza initially wanted nothing to do with cancer care professionally. However, he’s come to learn that the best way he can give back to the cancer community is by helping fellow cancer survivors. Through rehab and individually tailored exercise programs, cancer patients and long term survivors can overcome many of the physical side effects caused by treatment.
- What is a cancer survivor
- What are some common side effects from treatment
- How can rehab and exercise help cancer patients better deal with side effects (in prehab, during treatment, and in long term survivorship)
- How PTs interested in oncology rehab can get more involved
Side effects from cancer treatments are well documented and wide spread. Early rehab intervention (prehab, during treatment) helps limit potential side effects while giving the cancer patient some sense of control of their health. Survivors also require rehab following completion of treatment to safely exercise and screen for long term side effects like balance issues, muscle weakness and lymphedema.
There will be an estimated 17 million cancer survivors in the US in 2020. No matter what setting you practice PT in, you will encounter a cancer survivor and you need to be prepared to treat them safely and effectively
- Cancer survivors experience many physical short and long term side effects from life-saving treatment.
- Physical therapists can address many of these side effects throughout the cancer trajectory
- Physical therapist should actively advocate for increased access to rehab for all cancer patients and long term survivors