There are numerous important rehab considerations that are unique to this population. In addition, cancer treatments and protocols are constantly advancing, therefore cancer rehab physios need to keep up to date to ensure the safety of the patients they treat.
Assessing each patient through the lens of providing safe rehabilitation interventions in a medically supervised setting is required.
Over more than a decade the education programs developed by PINC & STEEL have expanded into a comprehensive cancer rehabilitation certification course. The course covers all phases of treatment and recovery for all types of cancer. It has been designed to fit around a busy physiotherapists schedule. The presentations are sent weekly and can be reviewed in your own time.
There has been many advances in online learning forums and the presentations are videoed and webinars are interactive. The online learning allows our physio’s to be exposed to a wider range of highly qualified expert lecturers. We believe this platform delivers better content, better learning experience, wider range of expert lecturers and is less expensive for the participant.
Links to the weeks presentations will be sent by email every Wednesday – for 12 weeks. You just need to click on the links and you will be able to view the presentations in your own time during the week. The course content would not exceed more than 2 hours per week.
After you have reviewed all the presentations in the module an interactive webinar will be scheduled – which is essentially an 'online meeting' where we can discuss the course content and answer questions about the more practical aspects of treating cancer patients. We have physiotherapists/physical therapists on our courses from several different countries and you will get to meet and hear from some of them during the interactive webinars throughout the course. We keep the webinar numbers small so that you get a quality learning experience and can be involved in discussions.
Advances in diagnosis and medical treatments for cancer patients and research into cancer rehabilitation has lead to more course content being necessary to ensure our certified physiotherapists are adequately trained. We simply can not teach the course in seven days anymore. The survey results from our physiotherapists indicated that committing to 7 days away from work and their families was too difficult for most physiotherapists to commit to. We also believe that educating Physiotherapists on how to support people affected by all types of cancer is really important.
The new online certification forum has been a hugely popular with our physiotherapists as they can still work full time and still complete the course. There are no travel or accommodation expenses and the interactive webinars mean you still get face to face practical advise and discussion with other physiotherapists. It also allows PINC & STEEL International to access a wide range of experts in the Oncology medical field to deliver presentations in the certification course.
Once you have completed either the PINC or STEEL Certification Training you can become certified in both programs by doing one extra online module for $645.00 NZD *
*NB Prices differ slightly for Physiotherapists in the UK, South Africa, Canada, America and Australian etc depending on exchange rates.
The number of people living longer and surviving cancer is growing, however these people may be living with long-term side effects of the disease and treatment (both physical and emotional), which make them feel they haven’t ‘beaten’ cancer at all. Side effects may be visible during or very soon after treatment, or they may take months and years to be seen. Many of these side effects can significantly affect quality of life. Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists can help minimise the risk of short and long-term side effects and help prevent unnecessary disability.
The primary focus of oncology medical professionals is to eliminate or control disease by suppressing cancer cell growth (chemo, radiation) or directly removing the tumour (surgery). These treatments are increasingly successful but they also damage ‘normal’ tissue. While oncology specialists seek the best possible outcomes, i.e. the absence of any residual cancer – this does not mean genuine, meaningful recovery is complete. The Cancer Rehab Physiotherapists’ focus is on supporting the whole patient, not just addressing their cancer.
Physiotherapists have a very important educational role during and after cancer treatments to help people understand how they can help themselves. Cancer treatments are tough but are more manageable when people know what to expect and are given good advise on all the things they can do to maximise their own recovery. Ongoing education throughout cancer treatment is also vital to heighten the patient’s awareness of the potential late effects from treatment and to promote a proactive approach to their diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Physiotherapists work to reinforce health-promoting behaviours such as exercise, weight control and physical activity and help their patients take positive steps for their future health and wellbeing.
Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists are experts in restoring movement and function to people affected by cancer. However, it doesn't stop there. There is also strong evidence supporting rehabilitation and exercise not only help people physically but also emotionally, vocationally and socially.
Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists are experienced in the management of fatigue during and after cancer treatment. It is very important to manage fatigue symptoms; to provide adequate support for people remaining at work as well as returning to work. There is also an abundance of evidence that regular moderate exercise can decrease feelings of tiredness, lack of energy and fatigue. During cancer treatment it is often possible to continue exercising if it is carefully prescribed by a Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist.
There is an emotional toll that cancer survivors face in addition to the physical one. A cancer diagnosis can cause depression, anger, anxiety, fear and stress. Proper breathing techniques, stretching, reassurance and education can help improve psychological recovery.
If symptoms are not managed throughout treatment there is a greater risk a patient will have problems coping. The combined burden from treatments and lack of physical activity can cause de-conditioning, which can further exacerbate fatigue and lead to a longer road to recovery. Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists can help patients overcome the significant physical and functional impairments suffered after cancer surgery and treatments that act as major barriers to resuming physical activity.
Opportunities for physiotherapists to screen for and treat impairments in cancer patients begin shortly after diagnosis and continue even years after the completion of cancer treatment. Our care continuum includes prehabilitation (interventions designed to increase function prior to surgery or treatment), rehabilitation during acute cancer care, rehabilitation after acute cancer care and rehabilitation of patients with cancer as a chronic condition.
The thought of exercise can be overwhelming to people affected cancer, but a well-designed exercise program may help them feel better physically and mentally, and it may also decrease the risk of further disease. Numerous studies show that being physically active appears to improve survival and quality of life. Patients are at increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, functional decline and cancer recurrence.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation services can help patients:
Cancer Rehabilitation is very rewarding work for physiotherapists to be involved in and you can truly make a big difference to people's lives.
Cancer patients endure a huge amount and their journey is long and uncertain. I have been privileged to meet many inspiring people through my work and observe their strength and uncommon wisdom. It is not simply that they see the big picture, if you spend long enough with them they help you see it too.
Lou James, Pinc & Steel Founder