Strength After Cancer
A comprehensive physical therapy-based program to empower patients diagnosed with cancer to maintain and improve their quality of life during and after treatments.
“Start low, progress slow, and let symptoms be your guide.”
Through education, rehabilitation, exercise, and emotional support, we strive to empower our patients diagnosed with cancer to maintain and improve their quality of life during and following cancer. Screening, education, and treatment on special topics such as lymphedema, chemo-related cognitive dysfunction, emotional well-being, and fall risk may be included. The emphasis is on using movement as medicine for prevention, treatment, and mitigation of common adverse side effects of cancer.
Exercise and lymphedema
Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein rich fluid caused by an abnormality of the lymphatic system that causes swelling of affected tissues. Lymphedema occurs in:
- 17-42% of breast cancers
- 30% in melanoma, gynecological, bladder, testicular, and head and neck cancers
Individuals with or at risk for lymphedema can and should perform aerobic and resistance exercise in a safe manner. Individuals who participate in a safe exercise program have the following benefits:
- 50% reduced the likelihood of lymphedema worsening
- 70% reduced the likelihood of lymphedema onset among individuals with 5+ nodes removed
For more information, please visit our page on Lymphedema Management.
What is the goal of therapy?
The vision is to facilitate the transition from illness to wellness to fitness through 1:1 supervised skilled physical therapy program with the focus on providing a supportive and restorative role to address survivorship issues during and following cancer treatments.
How often will my appointments be?
Participants will meet 1-2 times per week for 6-12 sessions, focusing on intensity, frequency, and duration under the guidelines of “start low, progress slow, and let symptoms be your guide.”
Is this program for me?
Is your fatigue at least 4/10 on a scale of 0-10, where 0=no fatigue and 10=severe? Do you require the use of your hands to get out of a chair or have difficulty getting up off of the floor? Have you fallen or lost your balance within the last 12 months, are fearful of falling, or feel unbalanced/unsteady? Have you had 5 or more lymph nodes removed? Do you get less than 30 minutes/day of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days/week? If you answered “yes” to at least two of these questions, this program is right for you. Ask your provider for a referral today!