Cancer develops when the formation of aberrant cells destroys your body's healthy and normal cells. That destruction impacts your health and the function of numerous body organs. Even death can ensue. The majority of people have a cancer risk. Therefore, early detection and treatment are essential for enhancing life expectancy and eradicating the harmful effects of cancer. One of the primary causes of cancer worldwide has been identified as physical inactivity. However, some medications can stop the spread of cancer cells.

Sadly, some of these medicines cause cancer patients to develop new physical issues. These issues include discomfort, edema, numbness, weakness, difficulty walking or moving, and loss of physical balance. The American Cancer Society advises cancer patients and those who have overcome the disease to engage in regular physical activity. Exercise reduces weariness, enhances the body's capacity for diverse tasks, and enhances a person’s quality of life.

Therefore, if you are receiving cancer treatment, a PT can assist you as you recover. Additionally, physical therapy will enhance your function and health, assist you in returning to your job and daily activities more quickly, and assist you in managing some of the adverse effects of cancer therapies. Physical therapists are experts in physical mobility. If you have received a cancer diagnosis in Las Vegas, contact Suarez Physical Therapy. We will work with you to develop a treatment strategy to help you gain better results from your treatment.

Overview of Cancer

The term "cancer" refers to a group of disorders brought on by the unchecked proliferation of abnormal body cells. These aberrant cells disrupt normal cells' ability to function. They increase and spread quickly. Early intervention is necessary because these aberrant cells multiply and spread throughout the body.

Doctors detect cancer in children and adults. You can develop cancer cells anywhere in your body, including the organs, muscles, blood, and bones. The most typical cancer types in America are listed below:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Skin cancer.
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Renal or kidney cancer.
  • Uterine cancer.
  • Thyroid cancer.

Although cancer-related mortality in children and adults is still relatively high, it has dramatically dropped since the 1990s. Most people today survive cancer longer thanks to early detection and treatment.

Cancer can be managed with various methods, including medication, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Immunotherapy, which involves increasing a patient's immune system so that their body can fight the disease, is used by some doctors to treat cancer. Hormone therapy and targeted gene therapy are further treatment possibilities. Numerous physical issues are associated with both the disease and its symptoms, including:

  • Pain.
  • Joint stiffness.
  • Tingling, numbness, and reduced ability to feel your legs and arms.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Blockage in your lymphatic system, or lymphedema. The blockage can cause your legs, arms, hands, shoulders, fingers, neck, and neck to swell.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lost endurance.
  • Difficulties in walking or moving.
  • Lost bone density or bone strength.
  • Heart problems.
  • Chronic loss of body balance.
  • Cognitive changes or brain fog.
  • Weight loss or weight gain.
  • Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath.

The Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

The majority of cancer patients start to exhibit symptoms right away. The first moderate symptoms become more severe as the abnormal cells spread throughout your body. If you have any pain, swelling, or discomfort, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Some people with cancer do not show signs until the illness has spread considerably throughout their bodies. Patients with routine physical screenings and medical exams are fortunate if they show no symptoms. Doctors can identify cancer cells in the earliest stages during these medical treatments.

The following are a few cancer symptoms and signs:

  • Changes in your skin.
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
  • Night sweats.
  • Fever.
  • Pain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Numbness.
  • Headaches.
  • A nagging cough.
  • Vision problems.

Your signs and symptoms do not necessarily indicate that you have cancer. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose cancer. To identify the type of cancer in your body and the extent of its spread, your doctor will prescribe several medical tests for you to undergo.

Cancer Diagnosis

It is crucial to undergo additional diagnostic testing if you exhibit one or more of the signs and symptoms mentioned above or if the screening test results indicate that you could have cancer. Similar symptoms to cancer can occasionally be seen in other illnesses and disorders. As a result, a doctor must rule them out.

The doctor will first gather your medical history and the medical histories of your immediate family members. They will also perform a physical examination and diagnostic procedures, including imaging scans and laboratory tests, to confirm their suspicion. Be aware that there is no single test that can accurately diagnose cancer. A biopsy is a method doctors use to prove their suspicion of cancer in a tumor or specific area of your body. It entails collecting a sample of fluid or tissue and sending it to the lab for analysis.

Is Cancer Preventable?

Some risk factors increase your chances of developing cancer. However, you can lower that risk by doing the following:

  • Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet always.
  • Being physically active all your life or maintaining a regular workout program.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Avoiding all forms of tobacco.
  • Cutting back on your alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid spending too much time in the sun.

You could also lessen the adverse effects of various cancer treatments by:

  • Keeping up your physical activity throughout.
  • Staying out of bed.
  • Participating as often as possible in physical activities and workouts you enjoy.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer or are a cancer survivor, working closely with a physical therapist is advisable. Throughout your recovery, a physical therapist will support you, help you manage some of the symptoms of the illness and its side effects, and help you restore your physical strength after overcoming cancer. They will select the most beneficial but secure forms of exercise and physical activity for you to engage in before, during, and after cancer treatment.

Working With a Los Angeles Physical Therapist (PT) After Cancer Diagnosis

PTs are qualified specialists with training in various medical specialties, including cancer. They have unique treatment methods that could aid a cancer patient in recovering well and more quickly than the patient would do without assistance. Therefore, it is beneficial to seek the assistance of a skilled physical therapist as soon as possible after your cancer diagnosis.

A physical therapist can work closely with you to gain a thorough understanding of your condition and create a specific treatment plan. The plan will help you manage your treatment objectives and needs while reducing cancer-related symptoms. For example, if your body weight is a crucial concern throughout your cancer treatment, a physical therapist can suggest a program that can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, they could lower your chances of:

  • Diabetes.
  • Some types of cancer.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • High blood pressure.

Keeping up your physical activity can lower your chances of developing various malignancies and increase your likelihood of surviving the condition. The American Cancer Society consistently advises everyone to engage in regular physical activity, particularly those on treatment for and those who have beaten cancer.

A PT will create a customized therapy and exercise plan for you to become more active as a cancer survivor. Most cancer-related issues, like weariness, can be prevented or reduced by physical exercise.

You can benefit from a therapist both before and after your surgical operation. They can assess and resolve any issues you could have before the procedure. Following the procedure, they can assist you with the following:

  • Movement problems.
  • Minimizing scarring.
  • Reducing pain.
  • Managing healing, especially on the incision site.

Areas in Which A Physical Therapist Can Improve After Your Cancer Diagnosis

Your comfort, strength, body weight, and general well-being are just a few of the many aspects of your life that are impacted by cancer symptoms and treatment. The following are some areas that physical therapy can assist in improving:

Your Comfort and General Well-Being

Some of your symptoms before your cancer diagnosis could still be there when you start therapy. For example, you can still have pain, tingling, numbness, burning sensations, spasms, or cramps even after beginning treatment. Physical therapy uses specialized manual therapy, hands-on strategies, and techniques like electrical stimulation to minimize or relieve some of these problems. Your therapist can give you exercises or workout plans at home to help you recover. These could replace or reduce your need for painkillers.

Aerobic Capacity

Cancer and its treatments can occasionally make a patient less able to process oxygen or engage in aerobic activity. Fatigue could arise from that. However, vigorous or moderate exercise, like walking, can enhance this ability, lessen weariness, and speed up healing. Your therapist can assist in determining your level of aerobic activity and suggest the best exercises to raise it.

Bone Strength or Density

Your bones weaken due to the reduced activity level of cancer and some treatments, which increase your risk of fractures. Your physical therapist can suggest some exercises that could help preserve bone density and stop the deterioration of bone strength. You will learn safe, highly efficient workouts from a qualified therapist that will gradually restore the lost bone strength.

Swelling and Lymphedema

Another typical cancer sign is swelling. After beginning cancer treatment, some people also develop edema. An obstruction in your lymphatic system can result in a type of swelling called lymphedema. Physical therapists use techniques to help prevent, manage, and reduce swelling and lymphedema. For example, your therapist could employ a manual drainage approach to the lymphatic system. Additionally, they could advise you on specific exercises and movements and demonstrate how to apply compression with clothing and bandages.

Help With Surgical Incisions

A PT can also care for the incisions that remain following surgical treatment. They will examine the wound for any signs of infection before helping you change the bandage until you fully recover. As the incision continues to heal, your therapist can also assist you in avoiding skin tightness and scarring. They can employ technologies to maintain flexible and soft skin and gently massage the affected area.

Help With Body Weight

To assist you in achieving and sustaining an ideal body weight, your therapist can create a personalized fitness regimen. You will feel more energized after achieving a healthy weight. Additionally, it will lower your chances of developing serious medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Improved Mood

When you are sick, it affects how you feel. Your mood will be affected if you have had cancer for a long time. However, physical activity can improve your mood and reduce stress and melancholy. Patients and their immediate families do not react well to a cancer diagnosis. Your tension and irritability will increase as a result of the actual treatment. A PT can create practical exercises to increase well-being, lower stress levels, and improve mood.

Improved Brain Fog

Your memory and concentration level can suffer due to cognitive changes brought on by cancer and cancer treatment. Patients with cancer often experience brain fog. However, you can manage some of these alterations with workouts. Your therapist can develop an exercise regimen to help you improve organizational abilities, focus, and memory.

Help With Mobility

Your body becomes weakened due to cancer and some therapies, making moving around difficult. You can increase your mobility with the exercises your physical therapist devises. They will suggest strengthening activities to help you regain and enhance your walking ability. Your therapist will have you practice walking and balance exercises to regain mobility. Your therapist can suggest strategies like bracing to make it safer and simpler to walk again if the disease or its treatment causes nerve damage. They could also suggest and instruct you using assistive devices, like a walking cane.

Restored Sporting Ability

Cancer and its related treatments will likely affect your sporting prowess if you are an athlete or enjoy sports. However, you can keep working out while undergoing treatment to prevent permanently losing that skill. If you want to retain or regain lost athletic ability while undergoing treatment, a physical therapist is the best person to work with. Your strength can be recovered, and fitness loss can be minimized with the help of demanding, safe, and sport-specific programs that a PT can provide.

Choosing the Right Physical Therapist for Your Needs

Patients are affected differently by cancer and cancer treatments. When selecting a PT to assist you with your recovery, it is essential to consider your needs. Fortunately, all licensed physical therapists acquire the training and expertise necessary to help patients of different backgrounds, including those with cancer. The following are some criteria you could take into account when picking a physical therapist for you or a loved one:

Level of Skills and Experience

When it comes to physical therapy, skills are crucial. As a cancer patient, you should ensure the chosen person is qualified and experienced. You can take into account their training background and level of experience. Working with a physical therapist with experience treating cancer patients is advisable. Some people are knowledgeable and experienced in oncology, lymphedema, and pain treatment.

A Certification

You should consider certification because it can be used to choose a qualified physical therapist. Board certification is a requirement for qualified therapists to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and practical expertise required to manage patients. The most recommended physical therapists for cancer patients are certified clinical specialists or have finished a fellowship or residency in oncologic physical therapy.

Nowadays, it is simpler than ever to find a physical therapist. You can ask family members, work teams, or close friends for a referral. If someone in your circle has previously used a physical therapist's services, they will be able to recommend a trustworthy one who can guide you through your recovery process.

Additionally, you can look online for the best physical therapist. Today, the majority of service providers offer their services online. Find a physical therapist in your area. But consider the factors mentioned above and any additional ones to aid your decision-making.

Inquire about the physical therapist's qualifications and expertise when you contact them. Make sure they have the knowledge or training to work with cancer patients. They should make you feel at ease discussing the illness, your course of treatment, and your symptoms.

Find a Competent Physical Therapist Near Me

Cancer is a horrible illness that will impact your overall health and well-being. It causes your body to become weak, painful, and sometimes swollen. However, you can reduce some of the signs and symptoms of the condition and its treatment side effects with physical therapy. You can manage discomfort, reduce swelling, and strengthen your body by working closely with a qualified physical therapist. Additionally, it will raise your mood and overall well-being. Suarez Physical Therapy's staff of skilled physical therapists is prepared and willing to accompany you on the difficult road to recovery. After receiving a cancer diagnosis in Las Vegas, contact us at 702-368-6778 to find out how we can help.