Women’s Post-Cancer Treatment

Women’s Post-Cancer Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Cancer is a disease that impacts every aspect of a woman’s life and there’s a chance it will affect you or someone you know. Abnormal cells grow and spread rapidly throughout the body, resulting in death or a lifetime of pain and dysfunction.

Every year, more than 1.9 million Americans receive a new cancer diagnosis. At least 600,000 people are expected to die from cancer by the end of this year, though many more survive. Some 16.9 million Americans live with or have beaten cancer.

Many types of cancer can be treated successfully and some can even be prevented as physical activity appears to reduce the effects of and contribute to the growing number of cancer survivors. As more people beat the odds, more people are living with cancer-related problems.

Is cancer common among women?

Cancer is common in women. For every 100 women, 39 will develop cancer at some point in their lives. The top five types of cancers women are most likely to be diagnosed with include:

  1. Breast (31%)
  2. Lung (13%)
  3. Colon (8%)
  4. Uterine (7%)
  5. Melanoma (5%)

As women survive cancer in greater numbers, there are many implications to consider in long-term impact on disability, psychological function, and quality of life. Ask yourself: 

  • How is your role in your home impacted?
  • Will you return to your previous social activities?
  • Are you planning to continue exercising?
  • What is your relationship like with your spouse?
  • Do you want to be intimate or have sex?
  • Can you continue to work?

Will physical activity decrease chances of getting cancer?

You can lower the risk of cancer with exercise. Physical activity slows the rate of cancer growth by activating cancer-fighting cells. You can address numerous factors to reduce your risk of developing cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Excess body weight
  • Eating habits and nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Stress
  • Sun exposure

Physical therapy can manage the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments by addressing physical problems such as pain, swelling, weakness, loss of balance, or loss of range of motion.

Research has shown that physical activity can also lower your risk of developing cancer and has a strong association with preventing certain types of cancers. 

Rehabilitation can help individuals improve their quality of life by treating the adverse effects caused by surgical, chemical, or radiative cancer treatments.

How does physical therapy help cancer recovery?

Physical therapy is one of several professions that make up your group of healthcare professionals walking beside you during your cancer recovery. Specifically, a physical therapist assesses physical limitations and creates goals to help you return to the activities you care about.

Goals are specific to your priorities. Some goals are designed to target and improve:

  • Range of motion
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Wound care
  • Swelling
  • Lymphedema
  • Scarring

Exercise is good for cancer recovery. Specifically, moderate intensity exercises improve your aerobic capacity, decrease fatigue, and help your body heal.

Your physical therapist can evaluate you before beginning cancer treatment and design a specific exercise program to recover faster than if you were on your own.

Even when undergoing or recovering from cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or hormonal therapy, you should find a safe way to address these issues. You can find relief by staying active and consistent with your daily activities to help you recover quicker after treatment.

Is physical therapy needed after mastectomy?

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and a leading cause of death and suffering in women worldwide. Early detection reduces the risk of death significantly. Five and 10-year survival rates are 90% and 84%, respectively.

After breast surgery, reconstruction, or radiation therapy, women may have difficulty reaching overhead due to swelling and scar tissue. A physical therapist can design an exercise program to help restore your motion and reduce your pain.

They can also help address and prevent scarring and skin tightness as your skin heals. Your care plan can include manual therapy and stretching to keep your skin as soft and flexible as possible.

Manual therapy can also help reduce pain, burning, numbness, or tingling symptoms. Specific hands-on treatment and exercises can help control lymphedema and swelling.

How does physical therapy affect people with lung cancer?

Lung cancer can affect your lung capacity or your ability to breathe well. Physical activity and a well-laid-out exercise plan designed by a physical therapist can help you improve your quality of life by lowering fatigue and depression.

Mild and moderate exercise helps to improve your lung function and make breathing easier. Walking for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, regardless of your body size or current fitness level, is recommended by the American Cancer Society. Aerobic exercise can improve:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Blood circulation
  • Lung capacity
  • Oxygen levels

Can physical therapy treat the pelvic floor after cancer?

Rectal cancer survival rates are increasing and people are living with partial or total loss of their anal sphincters and colons. Physical therapy treatment can include biofeedback and electrical stimulation to address fecal incontinence, frequent bowel movements, urgency, and difficulty evacuating.

Cervical cancer is another type of cancer that is common in women. This type of cancer and its cancer-related treatments can directly affect your pelvic floor and lead to the following:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pelvic floor deconditioning
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction
  • Painful intercourse
  • Swelling
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty moving or walking

A physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction can address impairments of your pelvic floor in preparation for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments. They can help you to identify and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to help eliminate or reduce the effects of bowel and bladder issues after cancer treatment.

How does physical therapy help fight fatigue due to skin cancer?

Skin cancer will leave you feeling tired and exhausted. Physical activity and exercise help to boost your mood and overcome your drop in energy levels, especially after cancer treatment.

Your fatigue can lead to deconditioning and additional muscle and bone mass loss. Exercise helps you to release natural endorphins and helps reduce your fatigue so you can move and stay conditioned.

Compassionate care makes all the difference. There are many situations you may not have considered while you undergo cancer treatment. Choose physical therapy because our therapists will:

favicon Listen to all of your concerns.

favicon Take in your complete medical history.

favicon Evaluate and test your physical capacity

favicon Educate you about your condition.

favicon Develop an individualized treatment program.

favicon Provide a home exercise program.

favicon Conduct regular monitoring.

favicon Make adjustments to your program as you progress.

favicon Modify your program if you have setbacks.

Smart Body PT