Jennifer Brooks, PT and Eva Johannesen, PT are two of many skilled physical therapists who treat people for side effects of cancer treatments.
Individuals going through cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can experience compromised balance and coordination, energy levels, endurance and range of motion. Bacharach’s recently expanded Oncology Rehabilitation Program is focused on treatment, education and support for cancer survivors and their families to help manage these conditions
One common side effect of cancer treatment is cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Up to 80 percent of cancer patients experience CRF and it often goes unreported. CRF differs from everyday fatigue in that is does not improve with additional sleep. The American Cancer Society notes that many cancer survivors consider CRF the most difficult side effect of their treatment. It can hit suddenly and with no warning and the level of fatigue can make the tasks of daily living extremely difficult, greatly compromising the patient’s quality of life.
Jenn Brooks, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA has been with Bacharach for nearly 15 years and recently moved to our Pomona location as a physical therapist specializing in oncology rehabilitation and lymphedema management for the Oncology Rehabilitation Program. Jen shared, “Cancer treatments frequently cause side effects and things that most people take for granted, such as walking, balance and range of motion, may become more difficult. We work with patients to ensure they have a healthy survivorship that is as safe and functional as possible.”
Another common side effect of cancer treatments is lymphedema, an accumulation of lymphatic fluid resulting in fluid retention and tissue swelling. Lymphedema can be both painful and dangerous. Lymphedema most frequently develops when lymph nodes are damaged or removed during surgery, including cancer-related mastectomy. Physical therapists at Bacharach’s Oncology Rehabilitation Program have earned certification in the treatment of lymphedema by completing an intensive training program.
Jenn explained, “Our lymphedema program can help address any lingering swelling present from the patient’s cancer treatment. Our patients have already been through one life-changing experience – we want to help them to minimize the impact of their treatment so they can live their lives as comfortably as possible.”
Harry Ferraran, PT, Kim Cullen, PT, DPT, and Randi Dellova, PT offer oncology rehab in Tuckerton and Manahawkin.
The Oncology Program offers treatments designed to produce maximum mobility and function and improve overall well-being. Therapy techniques such as stretching, strengthening and scar tissue mobilization are available for conditions including CRF, peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the extremities), lymphedema and post-mastectomy issues.