“Don’t sit still waiting to feel better, you’ll feel worse”
Today was the first official day of The American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in beautiful SanDiego. Aside from the absolutely stunning setting, my day was filled to the brim with fascinating lectures and engaging conversation. The above quote was mentioned during the oncology section’s lecture “An Evidence-based approach to strength training in breast cancer survivors.”
This fascinating lecture discussed the results of the Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) trail which has helped to build to the body of evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of a weight training program in breast cancer survivors. Check out the paper here: PAL
Historically, exercise with these patients has been considered risky and contraindicated but they are finding that a controlled exercise program (“START LOW, PROGRESS SLOW” as therapist Andrea Branas kept saying) can have such a positive affect on the recovery and quality of life for individuals with cancer. The speakers suggested developing the equivalent of a “cardiac rehab” model for individuals after cancer treatment since the sequelae of side effects from medications and treatments follows these survivors long after their treatment is completed.
The evidence is exciting and supportive of the ways we can help as physical therapists….now we just need to be the advocates and champions for this new avenue of PT.
In other oncology news, the celebrate life tree is turning out beautifully. If you are here in San Diego stop by the Oncology booth and add a leaf to the tree :