Advances in treatment have gone a long way in assisting people live longer after being diagnosed with cancer. However, many people experience a decline in their quality of life both during and after treatment. Physiotherapists play a unique role as part of the cancer care team. Physios are able to manage the functional challenges that may develop as a result of cancer and cancer treatment. We evaluate these issues throughout the cancer experience and provide preventative as well as effective treatment strategies to assist in regaining highest level of function.

Many people think of physiotherapy as an intervention for sports-related activities or muscle/bone (musculoskeletal) injuries. However, physiotherapists are adept at treating a variety of functional impairments related to issues with the heart and lungs (cardiovascular), nerves (neurological), skin (integumentary), pelvic floor, and inner ear (vestibular). We can provide a variety of individualized interventions to help people function better within their daily lives.

Physiotherapists are of great benefit, especially during the cancer journey, as we provide great value in a cost-effective manner. Surviving cancer requires attention to optimizing function and quality of life, and physiotherapists are primed to do just that. We provide significant value to a patient’s experience through pre-habilitation (proactive management of anticipated side effects of treatments), as well as providing cost-effective interventions during cancer treatment to help individuals maintain their strength, decrease fatigue levels, minimize pain, and maximize function such as balance, walking, and overall mobility. We provide a uniquely supportive position within this patient population. We facilitate a motivating, encouraging, and positive environment.

Physiotherapists provide a healing touch. We also help an individual regain their confidence. Being diagnosed with cancer creates a vulnerability that may not have existed before, and it can really shake an individual’s confidence. Individuals benefit from achieving small successes through our positive and encouraging attitude. We tailor treatments according to individual patient needs. We listen, and we hear. We are creative. We ask what is important to the patient. We have respect.

The most rewarding part of our job is to be part of the lives of patients while they are going through this unique, challenging, and unknown part of their lives. The best parts of our day are spent assisting patients in working toward and reaching their goals. It is also about being present in the moments of challenge and loss as well, but letting them know they are not alone in those moments. Let’s work together on this journey. 

Celeste Prinsloo Physiotherapy

Kingsway Wellness Centre, 311 Kingsway, Amanzimtoti