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KORT Cancer Rehab Program help cancer patients

From staff reports

This year, nearly 1.74 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed. However, because of early detection and better treatments more people are surviving this disease. 

The American Cancer Society estimates there were 15.5 million cancer survivors in 2016 and projects 20 million by 2026.

While this is positive news, questions remain about the quality of life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

KORT locations throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana offer cancer rehabilitation programs tailored to meet the needs of each patient with complimentary consultations available.

“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, treatment and prevention, whether in the form of surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of treatments, is the first course of action. But what happens before and after cancer treatment can be just as difficult and painful as the cancer itself. There are many side effects to cancer and cancer treatments that can negatively affect the survivor’s quality of life,” KORT physical therapist Dr. Katie Filiatreau said.

Filiatreau, who specializes in working with oncology patients, says possible side effects include pain, fatigue, loss of mobility, weakness, neuropathy/nerve disorders, cognition changes, hormone changes, body weight changes, osteoporosis and lymphedema. 

The ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation Program offered at KORT Physical Therapy is designed to work with patients pre-surgery, post-surgery, during treatment, following chemotherapy and radiation treatments and into wellness.

This multi-tiered program was also designed to help patients build strength prior to surgery, recover from surgery, navigate the sometimes painful and debilitating side effects of treatment and helps to provide them with a life-long wellness plan.

“Our program includes a wide variety of treatments to help patients improve overall health and physical state prior to surgery and provides pain management techniques, lymphedema treatment, scar tissue mobilization and strengthening exercises following surgery,” Filiatreau said. “Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be very debilitating, leaving patients weak, fatigued and with balance issues and other physical ailments.”

Radiation therapy, Filiatreau said, can create scar tissue, decrease flexibility and lead to muscle weakness during the months and years following treatment. Physical therapists, she said, use skilled manual therapy techniques and strengthening and stretching exercise programs to treat these side-effects.

“The survivorship portion of the program is very rewarding as we help patients who have battled cancer to regain their strength, mobility, balance, and learn to live a healthier lifestyle through our POWR program. Our goal is to empower patients to take an active role in their survivorship and to gain the best quality of life during and after treatment,” Filiatreau said.

To learn more about how physical therapy can help after cancer diagnosis, or to schedule a consultation, contact KORT at www.kort.com or call 1-800-645-KORT.