Cancer rehabilitation (COURSE-02)

10 May 2019 08:30-16:30
One day
University of Applied Science Western Switzerland
Level of learning:
€250, fee includes all course materials, breaks and lunches

One day course

Language: English

James L1Lait C2Trickett M3
1PINC & STEEL International, Auckland, New Zealand, 2Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, 3MSK St Andrews, NHS Fife, St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

Learning objective 1: Improving understanding of the changing cancer story, implications for rehabilitation and implementing evidence into practice
Learning objective 2: Understanding the fundamentals of cancer treatment, consequences of treatment and how these impact on delivery of evidence based rehabilitation / physical activity interventions
Learning objective 3: Exploring and debunking some of the key myths in cancer rehabilitation


Restoring health is much more than just removing disease. Physiotherapists should be playing a key role in helping the growing population of people affected by cancer to thrive. 

This course will teach Physiotherapists about the changing cancer story and the optimised role of rehabilitation from cancer diagnosis through to the well recovered/ or end of life. It will examine how to identify and address physical and functional barriers in order to support people affected by cancer opportunities without fear or failure. It includes information about the fundamentals and consequences of cancer treatment and how to implement the evidence into practice to provide person-centred care. The course will explore some of the key myths in cancer rehabilitation and promote the facts including:

Myth: Cancer rehabilitation is “new” and is not supported by research
Fact: Cancer rehabilitation research is outpacing other fields of rehabilitation research 

Myth: Only a small percentage of cancer survivors need cancer rehabilitation
Fact: Between 63% and 90% of patients need cancer rehabilitation medical care, and many have unmet needs

Myth: Cancer rehabilitation starts after treatment finishes
Truth: Cancer rehabilitation spans the whole patient care pathway from prehabilitation to the well recovered/ or end of life

Myth: Emotional recovery is independent of physical recovery
Fact: Research has shown that distress is strongly correlated with the ability to function for people affected by cancer 

Myth: It is acceptable to tell patients that they need to “accept a new normal”
Fact: There may be serious consequences to telling people that they have reached a medical end point and not offering evidence-based cancer rehabilitation

Myth: People with advanced cancer and metastatic disease are too frail for exercise rehabilitation
Fact: Cancer rehabilitation can help with preventing suffering, reducing unnecessary disability and improving quality of life.

Implications / Conclusions: 

The number of people surviving and living longer after a cancer diagnosis has grown substantially and providing evidence based cancer rehabilitation has never been more vital. While physiotherapists have always been involved in post-operative recovery following cancer surgery, their role in promoting exercise rehabilitation for cancer patients during and after treatment and in palliative care is much newer. This new role brings with it the task of dispelling old myths.


Target Audience: Physiotherapists working in the hospital, private practice and hospice setting. 
Key-Words: cancer rehabilitation; physical activity; oncology rehab