The rehabilitation 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 has 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 to allow them to have the highest level of function available to them.
Close Physical Therapy is the only clinic in Las Vegas which 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.
The program consists of an initial evaluation which provides for a general functional assessment. This assessment would include, as a minimum, the patients 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 patients 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 patients physician for their concurrence. In this way, the rehabilitation becomes a team effort involving not only the therapist, but also the patient and other health care providers.