National statistics indicate that one in four in Singapore will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and over a quarter of all deaths are attributable to cancer. For many cancer patients, their quality of life and ability to perform day-to day tasks can be adversely impacted by the effects of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy cancer treatment. Oncology physiotherapy helps patients to help reduce the side effects and to manage fatigue and pain.
What Are Some Side Effects Cancer Patients Can Experience
Cancer treatment can be life saving, but they take a toll on the patients’ bodies. Side effects that may be experienced by patients undergoing treatment include:
- Joint pain
- Numbness in the hands or legs
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty in moving or walking
- Memory problems / brain fog
How Oncology Physiotherapy Helps In Cancer Recovery
Oncology physiotherapy in Singapore helps cancer patients to reduce with the side effects that they might experience as a result of their cancer and its treatments. This will help to improve patients’ physical health and enhance their wellbeing. At the same time, it improves their mental health by reducing the amount of distress they might feel as a result of the cancer or cancer treatment side effects, and by boosting their confidence and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. It also uplifts patients’ quality of life by improving their mobility, strength and comfort levels. For instance, it may:
Improve aerobic capacity. Walking on treadmills can help cancer patients improve their aerobic capacity (ability to process oxygen). This helps reduce fatigue and can optimise healing.
Increase bone density. Some cancer treatments can result in loss of bone density, thus making them weaker and more prone to fractures. Some forms of exercise therapies may help to mitigate such loss of bone density.
Address Lymphedema and swelling. Certain cancer treatments can result in lymphedema (swelling in the arms or legs) or other types of swelling. These may be reduced or controlled via specialised massages, exercises and application of compressive garments.
Help manage body weight. Exercise and physical activity will help patients and maintain a healthy body weight, which can improve their energy levels.
Build strength. Patients can benefit by carrying out exercises that help them build up strength in muscles weakened by cancer or the treatments.
Enhance balance and coordination. Certain therapies can help patients to regain balance and coordination that were lost as a result of cancer treatment. and agility, so you can perform household, community, and sports activities with greater ease.
Restore range of motions. Physiotherapy can help patients overcome stiff joints and restore normal movement in their bodies. This not only improves patients’ ability to perform daily tasks, but helps in pain management as well.
Restore mobility. Patients undergoing more intense cancer treatment may experience a curtailment of mobility due to weakened muscles or a reduced sense of balance. Oncology physiotherapy can help to restore mobility through strengthening exercises, retraining patients to walk, and through balance training.
Elevate mood. An exercise regime tailored to the needs of individual cancer patients, can help to elevate their moods and help reduce feelings of stress.
Oncology Physiotherapy In Singapore
Hospitals and cancer clinics offer cancer rehabilitation programmes for their patients. However, it you are in need of other service providers, here are a few other options you can explore:
- Heart & Lung Physio
- Pooja Physiotherapy (for breast cancer)
- Singapore Cancer Society
Coverage Under Medical Insurance
Your medical insurance policy / policies may cover physiotherapy sessions as part of cancer treatment. If you are unsure, your insurance agent or financial planning advisor can advise.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.