Today, more than ever, we are witnessing an increase in the survivor rate in diagnosed instances of cancer. This is primarily due to early detection and the advancement of treatments. While early detection and advanced treatment options have increased patient lifespan, they have also resulted in significant long-term side effects.
Statistics show that 60% of female breast cancer survivors had one or more treatment-related symptoms up to six years following diagnosis. These include a variety of physical symptoms including pain, fatigue, weakness, restriction of joint mobility, neuropathy (nerve pain or numbness, tingling), lymphedema, bone health challenges, and decreased balance. These side effects can place limitations and restrictions on performing even the simplest daily activities.
Including physical therapy as part of a patient’s cancer treatment can prove very beneficial to build strength and endurance, improve balance, regain independence, reduce stress and maintain the energy to participate in daily activities. Physical therapists can design an individualized exercise program that combines range-of-motion training with light resistance exercises.
Other physical therapy services offer successful symptom management. Manual therapy provides hands-on treatment and aids in the mobilization of joints, muscles and nerves to improve physical function. And lymphedema management helps patients manage swelling that occurs in the arms and legs when lymph nodes are removed or damaged, or from some cancer treatments including surgery and radiation.
To learn more about the important role physical therapy plays in helping cancer patients manage symptoms, contact the caring team at Pivot Physical Therapy to schedule an assessment today.