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  • Writer's pictureRestorative Therapy Co.

Cancer and Physical Therapy

Learn why Physical Therapy and exercise are key to living with and beyond cancer!


Physical Therapy and exercise are key to optimizing function and maintaining quality of life for individuals living with and beyond cancer. Though research clearly supports referral to PT as part of a comprehensive oncology care plan for many different types of cancer, oftentimes it is overlooked when developing a cancer treatment plan. (1)

What can exercise do? Regular exercise has been shown to have a preventive effect for 7 common cancers and improve survival in 3 types of cancer! (2) There is strong scientific evidence for aerobic and/or resistance training to improve cancer related fatigue, anxiety, depression, lymphedema, physical function and health related quality of life. In addition, there is evidence for resistance training for bone health and aerobic exercise for sleep quality in people with cancer. The recommended dose of exercise for all adults is 150-300 min/week moderate intensity or 75-150 min/week vigorous intensity exercise.

For most people undergoing treatment for cancer and cancer survivors post-treatment, exercise recommendation guidelines are similar to those for the general population. However, many people with cancer are not getting the recommended levels of activity and may have a hard time with exercise due to cancer related fatigue, pain, and other treatment side effects. Moderate intensity exercise is generally safe for most cancer survivors but those with post-treatment complications such as lymphedema, neuropathy, or cardiomyopathy would benefit from evaluation by PT in order to design a safe, effective, and evidence based exercise program that takes into account these conditions. PT help you get from where you are to where you want to be with a progressive program customized just for you!

If you have cancer or have had cancer and are having a difficult time maintaining your activity levels, book a PT evaluation at Restorative Therapy Co in Virginia Beach, VA and let our therapists help you not just survive but THRIVE with cancer and beyond! For appointments call 757-578-2958 or visit!


  1. Stout, N.L, Mina, D.S., Lyons, K.D., Robb, K, Silver, J.K. (2021). A Systematic Review of Rehabilitation and Exercise Recommendations in Oncology Guidelines. CA CANCER J CLIN 2021;00:1–27.

  2. Matthews, C.E., Moore, S.C., Arem, H., Cook, M.B., Trabert, B., Hakansson, N., Larsson, S.C., Wolk, A., Gapstur, S.M., Lynch, B.M., Milne, R.L., Freedman, N.D., Huang, W., de Gonzalez, A.B., Kitahara, C.M., Linet, M.S., Shiroma, E.J., Sandin, S., Patel, A.V., Lee, I. (2020). Amount and Intensity of Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Lower Cancer Risk. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 38(7), 686-697.

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