The rehabiliation of the patient with cancer is one of the
newest and most promising specialties in the field of Physical
Therapy.   Breast cancer patients have had the opportunity
for years to benefit from the assistance and direction of physical therapists.
However, recently other forms and locations of this disease have
facilitated a greater involvement of the physical therapist to assist the
cancer patient in reducing the functional deficits which result, not only
from the disease, but also from the treatment, i.e., surgery,
radiation, chemotherapy, etc.
Some of these deficits include
decreased range-of-motion, decreased strength and endurance, neuropathic
changes, postural changes, and secondary edema and pain. As the number of
patients living with or cured of cancer has grown, it is critical that as
much be done for these patients as possible allow them to have the highest
level of function available to them.
TOTAL HEALTH Physical Therapy has identified this specialty
as an integral part of the practice of physical therapy.   Because it is so
important that the cancer patient attempt to maintain as high a level of
physical activity as possible, our rehabilitative services are not only
available in our clinic, but also home visits are available upon appointment.
In this way we can provide early rehabilitation intervention for the
home-bound cancer patient in the comfort of their own home.
The program consists of an initial evaluation which provides
for a general functional assessment.   This would include, as a minimum,
the patient's mobility, strength, general health, range-of-motion, functional
activity level, pain level, etc.
Specific physical therapy intervention will be dependent on
a number of variables, including the patient's diagnosis, therapy received, age,
treatment course, etc.   However, once the problem areas are identified, a
comprehensive program is developed and presented to the patient and the patient's
physician for their concurrence.   In this way, the rehabilitation becomes a
"team effort" involving not only the therapist but also the patient and the other
health care providers.