What Role Does Physical Therapy Play In Cancer Recovery?

What Role Does Physical Therapy Play In Cancer Recovery?

Cancer is one of the most fatal diseases till date. It causes the growth of some abnormal cells, which destroys our normal cells. Thus, different body parts stop functioning, which can lead to death. According to recent research, 19.3 million people get cancer each year, among which 10.0 million people die.

Thankfully, now it can also be treated with the help of modern medical instruments and techniques. But this treatment is very risky and has some side-effects after the treatment; the patient can feel several physical issues, including numbness, weakness, swelling, immobility, etc.

Here comes the role of a physical therapist. Cancer patients are suggested to stay active so that they can manage all these side-effects. Being movement experts, physical therapists help cancer patients return to their normal lives and perform all activities.  

What body parts can get affected by cancer?

Anyone can get cancer, no matter if he or she is a child or an adult. It affects our different body parts that also include our bones, blood, muscles, and organs. Some of the most common cancers are:

  • Lungs
  • Breast
  • Skin
  • Bladder
  • Kidney

What are the side-effects of cancer treatment?

Cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. All these treatments have different side-effects like;

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Walking difficulty
  • Less bone density
  • Balance issues
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Cognitive issues
  • Breathing problems

How can a physical therapist help a cancer patient?

A physical therapist will understand your health conditions, which also includes cancer effects. They will understand your individual needs and help you to recover faster.

They will make a special treatment program so that you can fight cancer-related problems. By doing proper physical activities, you can reduce most of the health risks. Physical activity will also improve your chances of surviving cancer. So, seeing an experienced therapist will help you before, during, and after your cancer treatment. 

They will look after your overall health and make sure that you have a smooth recovery. To get the best physical therapist, you can visit Americare Physical Therapy. They have many specialists who are well-trained and certified.

Provide comfort

As mentioned above, cancer patients feel pain, swelling, and burning after their treatment. A therapist can use a hand-on technique or use electrical stimulation to ease your pain. They will also teach you some effective, simple exercises which you can do at your home. Thus, there will be no need to take opioid pain medication, and you will also get a faster recovery.

Increase aerobic capacity

Aerobic capacity is your capability to process oxygen. This ability decreases if you are undergoing cancer treatment. As a result, you suffer from fatigue. When you exercise regularly, your aerobic capacity increases. 

Your therapist can suggest the best aerobics movements for you. So, with their help, you can reduce fatigue and heal sooner.

Strengthen bones

Less activity, along with cancer treatments, can make your bones weaker. As a result, you can get bone fractures. But, some exercises can promote bone density and bone strength. So, your physical therapist will suggest some safe exercises for you and help you to recover faster.

Heal lymphedema

Lymphedema is a condition where our lymphatic system gets blocked by excessive swelling. A physical therapist can use different methods to reduce this swelling, like compressing, exercising, and hands-on therapy.

Incision recovery

A physical therapist will help you to recover from incisions. Cancer treatment may include some surgical incisions. Your therapist will monitor the area and make sure that there is no infection. They can also assist you with regular dressing and medication. 

Most of the time, incisions cause some scars and skin tightness. A physical therapist will massage the area gently so that your skin remains soft and tender.

Bodyweight maintenance

Cancer can make you gain too much weight or lose a lot. To maintain a stable body weight, your physical therapist will suggest some exercises. Thus, you will feel more energetic, and the risk of diabetes and heart diseases will decrease.

Cognitive activity

Brain fog is a known side-effect of cancer treatment. In this condition, the patient fails to remember anything or do something with total concentration. Your physical therapist will help you improve your memory and focus better. Moreover, you will be able to perform all your cognitive activities without any difficulty.

Balance improvement

Patients lose their ability to maintain balance after cancer treatment. With physical therapy, you will get back the ability to keep your balance. You need to perform some exercises regularly so that you do not fall while standing or walking.

Mental health

As we all know, physical and mental health are interrelated. If you are physically active, you feel energetic. Cancer treatments can be stressful. Furthermore, the patients always remain under the shadow of death. These create depression and hopelessness. 

A physical therapist can help in coping with stress and depression. You will feel positive and happy after therapy sessions.


So, these are the ways in which a physical therapist can help a cancer patient. Cancer is a severe disease. Though death cases have been decreasing day by day, we need to stay aware and take good care of ourselves for a fast recovery.

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