Cancer Rehab and Survivorship

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Why should a physical therapist, occupational therapist or athletic trainer take this oncology continuing education course?

A comprehensive multidisciplinary team approach to cancer rehab provides critical elements for a successful transition back to independence. An Oncology rehab specialist demonstrates comprehension of the mechanisms involved with the progression of care from chemotherapy, radiation, surgical procedures, psychological impact, and functional limitations. A trained physical therapist and the occupational therapist works within a cohesive team to help the cancer survivor thrive in their environment. This course prepares the clinician with the information needed to successfully evaluate and treat an oncology patient throughout the continuum of care.

Rehab clinical tools instructed in this course to enhance your functional outcomes.

  • Discussion of various types of common cancers and the current medical approaches ranging from surgical to pharmaceutical-medical interventions.
  • Grading, medical interventions, and side effects of different types of cancer.
  • A step by step process identifying the important factors to consider when developing and progressing patients.
  • Fatigue and complications such as axillary web syndrome, lymphedema, myofascial restrictions, chemo-induced cognitive dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, and musculoskeletal dysfunction and other common side effects with cancer patients are addressed.

Specific instruction that will enhance your understanding and ability to deliver better patient care.

  • Two nurse practitioners, medical doctor, physical therapist, and patients convey information on the importance of communication within the oncology rehab team.
  • Implications of specific medical management procedures and its effects on stamina, strength, cognition, and overall well being and the effects on prehab and long term rehab goal setting.
  • Parameters of chemotherapy and side effects.
  • Hands-on demonstrations will reinforce the evaluation and treatment of common diagnoses and specific musculoskeletal dysfunction s/p surgical and medical intervention.

Features unique to this oncology rehab course

  • Patient testimonials provide essential information on oncology medical intervention, rehab, and goal setting during their rehab.
  • Extensive information provided on the types of therapy and pharmaceutical agents utilized with specific therapies.
  • A Board Certified Surgeon reviews breast cancer reconstruction surgery, microvascular surgery, and the surgical management of lymphedema. The importance of therapy is stressed to avoid contractures, neuropathies, musculoskeletal deformity or weakness, and possibly failed surgical intervention.
  • Oncology nurse practitioners discuss red flags, side effects of chemo, radiation, and contraindications to therapy.
  • Case studies on inflammatory breast cancer, lymphedema, axillary web syndrome and radiation fibrosis.
  • An oncology specialist discusses the importance of cancer survivorship programs and provides essential information on how to incorporate and develop a program into your current practice.

Professional Accreditation

This is an intermediate level course applicable for PT, PTA, OT, AT.Physical Therapy Accreditation: For specific state information use the accreditation verification menu and select your state of license. AOTA: provider #4487, Occupational therapy professional development activity: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery, evaluation and intervention and Foundation Knowledge: human body, development, and behavior. Athletic Trainers: BOC provider #P2047, category A. This course has not been submitted for Evidence-Based BOC approval.

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View PT, PTA, OT and AT Continuing Education Course State Accreditation

Responsible CME® - Testimonials

This was a very comprehensive overview of Cancer Rehab. The instuctor is very knowledgeable, along with interesting! The Case Studies were also very informative. -- Jane, Physical Therapist

I am a Home Health Physical Therapist, I have had a few patients with cancer and always wondered if I was providing the right care. This course has opened my eyes to how complicated and in depth this type of therapy can be. Good course, thank you -- Karri, Physical Therapist

Very clear and informative. -- Jona, Physical Therapist

This is the best course I have ever taken. I have a variety of resources to use with my patients. The course was very organized and the presenter was so knowledgeable. -- Cynthia, OT

I enjoyed this course and the information provided. The current practice Im in wouldnt allow me to use all the information provided; however, I can definitely apply some of the principles here. -- Trae, Physical Therapist

I applaud the instructors and especially Carrie for creating a means of a hybrid course that incorporated live webinar and online home study. I am much more knowledgeable after this course. I feel that I have a strong foundation for working with clients in each part of their cancer journey -- Starr L., PTA

This was an excellent course for lymphedema practitioners looking to increase their knowledge in working with the breast cancer population. I started applying the techniques learned in this class during my treatments and have seen immediate returns from my patient population in pain reduction and improved quality of life. -- Ashley, OT

Course was outlined very well with relevant information from an array of providers. All the information will be implemented and practiced in providing the best cancer survivorship care I can perform. -- Jacob, PTA

The course is extremely thorough and applicable to patients on my current caseload. Thank you for this information that will help many people in our community. -- Kathy, PT

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Cancer Rehab and Survivorship


  • CE Hours: 16.0 hrs, 1.6 CEU
  • Delivered: Online
  • Instant Online Access, Color PDF Manual for Download, 365 days of access, Mobile Ready

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1 Year Access with Annual Renewal

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Prices are in US dollars
  • 12 months of access to all online courses, course tests and state approval certificates.
  • Meet all your CE requirements. Pre-approved for PT, PTAs in AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, and WY.
  • AOTA approved.
  • Designed for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Athletic Trainers and Assistants.
  • Access to future courses and content.
  • Start, stop and resume, right where you left off in a course.
  • Real patient interviews.
  • Medical expert contributors.
  • 3D anatomy and medical illustrations.
  • Easy to use learning system for fast access to your courses.
  • Award winning content.
  • Top instructors teaching evidence based skills and techniques.

Highlights of this Online Continuing Education Course

Highlights of this Online Continuing Education Course

Course Objectives

  • Describe the underlying mechanisms of carcinogenesis, the current medical and surgical management for the treatment of cancers and their associated side-effects.
  • Identify and tumor grading and staging, the different systems utilized (Ann Arbor, TNM, SEER)to understand the therapeutic interventions that will benefit most from specific rehab approaches throughout the continuum of care.
  • Identify the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system and the impact of certain medical approaches on the lymphatic system.
  • Describe the pathogenesis of cancer and the current genomic tumor assessments designed to identify DNA alterations.
  • Discuss the targeted therapies, immunotherapies, hormonal therapy, radiation, and systemic chemotherapy and specifics of toxic molecular delivery and genetically targeted fractionated chemotherapy, utilized in different situations and the side effects associated with each.
  • Recognize the terminology and various treatments-dosing utilized with chemotherapy and identify the difference between neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies and the associated side effects.
  • Discuss the different types of radiation treatment (brachytherapy, seeds, systemic) and possible side effects.
  • Identify the common drugs utilized in cancer management, side effects and possible implications on therapy.
  • Recognize important lab values such as; Nadir and ANC, hemoglobin, platelet, and determine when to modify treatment based upon specific values.
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of low blood platelets and white blood cells.
  • Identify the signs and symptoms and the common areas affected with metastatic cancer and perform a differential diagnosis examination to rule out of the progression of the disease.
  • Discuss the advantages and possible complications of specific procedures such as; autologous microvascular surgery, DIEP Flap, latissimus flap, implants, tissue expanders, microvascular and lymph node transfers.
  • Identify key factors in a subjective evaluation that will help form the baseline of the objective evaluation.
  • Identify the red flags, complications and absolute contraindications to specific therapies.
  • Perform appropriate goniometric measurements to establish a range of motion baseline and proper documentation.
  • Evaluate and document cording to by using goniometric measurements, proper positioning, and manual skills.
  • Evaluate the key postural muscles and utilize manual therapy and myofascial skills to promote tissue elongation and postural retraining.
  • Perform specialized manual therapy skills and develop individualized therapeutic exercise/ activity programs to decrease pain, fatigue, edema and improve motion and balance in patients with cancer.
  • Incorporate techniques within the rehab program that address fatigue, and myelosuppression.
  • Perform myofascial techniques and manual therapy to improve axillary web syndrome, lymphedema, radiation fibrosis, and muscle contractures.
  • Develop prehabilitation programs, functional goals, and appropriate plans of care.
  • Develop a safe and progressive program that incorporates education, exercise, manual therapy, self-care, community support.
  • Develop a rehab program that addresses cancer-related fatigue by incorporating interval training, strengthening and balance activities.
  • Identify key elements in developing a cancer survivorship program.
  • Develop safe and effective treatment programs to improve functional outcomes, decrease pain and increase mobility through each phase of medical management (surgery, chemo, targeted therapies, hormonal therapy, radiation).

What Does Cancer Rehab Look Like in Today’s Healthcare Environment?

What is Cancer Therapy Today
  • Numbers of cancer survivors are growing
  • Team communication, an overview of team plan of care
  • Cancer terminology
  • Cancer classifications signaling proteins
  • Proto-oncogenes, lymphatic system
  • Anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system
  • Types of cancer, staging, and grading
  • Medical and surgical management of cancer and the approaches for cancer research and treatment
  • Cancer surgery drains, side effects of surgery
  • Chemotherapy drugs, and their classifications
  • Side effects, precautions, low blood counts, treatments with Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy, blood counts, types of therapy
  • Pre rehab for transplant patients, Types of radiation, therapy role in radiation treatment
  • Different types of radiation treatment side effects to the system
  • Hormonal therapies, drugs, side effects
  • Search engines can mislead the cancer patient
  • Identify all members of the patient’s cancer care team
  • Breathing and Postural Control

The Nurse Practitioner and Medical Oncology

The Nurse Practitioner and Medical Oncology
  • A typical day for a Nurse practitioner in the Oncology setting
  • The focus of care for cancer patients by the NP
  • Neoadjuvant therapy vs. adjuvant therapy
  • What are the two main options for breast cancer surgery?
  • How is Chemotherapy used?
  • What are the side effects?
  • What are the drugs used in Chemotherapy?
  • When we refer to a physical therapist
  • Neuropathy and how it is treated
  • Educating the patient about Chemotherapy
  • Dealing with patient fatigue and Chemotherapy
  • Low hemoglobin and low white cell count
  • An example of a care plan for a breast cancer patient
  • Survival rates
  • How do we determine if a patient is cancer free
  • How do patients react physiologically to Chemotherapy
  • Dose Dense AC and Weekly T
  • The impact of diet on the recovery model for breast cancer patients
  • What medical team members typically are part of the cancer team

A surgeon perpective on breast reconstruction

A surgeon perpective on breast reconstruction
  • Breast cancer is a complex reconstructive surgery
  • Lumpectomy, mastectomy and lymph node therapy
  • The use of autologous tissue
  • Deep inferior epigastric perforator artery (DIEP) microvascular flap
  • The two main types of reconstruction
  • The use of tissue expanders in reconstruction
  • Common complaints of inflation
  • Learn the details about DIEP and the impact of physical therapy on recovery
  • Lymphedema therapy after cancer reconstruction
  • Surgical management of lymphedema
  • Microvascular lymph node transfer
  • Lymphatic venous anastomosis
  • The importance of working with therapists to minimize complications, decrease pain and increase range of motion
  • Mandibular and Oral Pharyngeal cancer and reconstruction
  • Skin cancer and melanoma surgery

The subjective evaluation of the cancer patient

The subjective evaluation of the cancer patient
  • The subjective evaluation of the cancer patient
  • Subjective information discussion such as
    • Timeline
    • Date of initial diagnosis
    • Past and current treatment
    • Side effects from treatments
    • Medications
    • Length of treatment and dosage
    • Radiation treatment length
    • Brachytherapy or systemic radiation
    • Lymph node removal and swelling assessment
    • Blood cell counts
    • Bone density test and bone scans
    • Bone treatment issues
    • Sarcoma present
    • Chemo-brain or chemo-fog
  • Education on infection prevention
  • Memory deficits and chemo
  • Cognitive testing

Contraindications for Exercise, Manual Therapy, and Modalities

Contraindications for Exercise, Manual Therapy, and Modalities
  • DVT and PEs
  • Anticoagulation medications
  • Exercise and oxygen saturation levels
  • Exercise and chemo-infusion
  • Exercise and the poracath
  • Skin integrity and risks associated with cancer treatment
  • Working with Ultra-sound in an area of active cancer
  • Contra-indications for manual therapy
  • Working with patients with cancer-related pain
  • Metastasis and pain
  • Bone METS in females
  • Treating Metastasis, Goals, and Strategies
  • Developing a safe exercise prescription
  • The Gas Tank analogy
  • Pain and exercise
  • Explaining the parameters of specific exercise

Case Study: Patient with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Axillary Web Syndrome, and Radiation Fibrosis

Case Study: Patient with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Axillary Web Syndrome, and Radiation Fibrosis
  • Patient with inflammatory breast cancer, axillary web syndrome (from treatments), and radiation fibrosis. This patient is 38 years old, diagnosed with locally advanced HER 2 + inflammatory breast cancer. Her stage was T4 N2 M0, Stage 3B, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with Taxotere
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Axillary web syndrome resulting from the hormonal therapy
  • Carboplatin and secondary cancers
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome
  • AC therapy is a systemic treatment
  • Search Engine Diagnosis information is outdated; there is hope!
  • Understanding a patient’s journey from an actual patient
  • Conducting an objective evaluation with inflammatory breast cancer
  • A focus on the range of motion after our skin assessment and palpation
  • Measuring flexion, using a goniometer
  • Learn to assess the scapula
  • Learn to assess vitals for chemo patients
  • Demonstrations of exercises
  • The initial phase of treating axillary web syndrome
  • Decreased lateral mobility of the ribs
  • Exercises for both the cardiovascular component and fatigue

Case Study: Patient diagnosed with three types of cancers

Case Study: Patient diagnosed with three types of cancers
  • Stage III anal cancer and treatment
  • Diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer
  • Uterine cancer - papillary serous carcinoma Stage I B
  • I was 35 years old and diagnosed with cancer - patient story
  • Genetic testing for every cancer possible that they can test for, and I do not have a single gene for any of the cancers
  • “For me, you just have to do it. You just got to fight it and keep going. Even to this day, what if there is a fourth? What would I do? I would fight it. ” - Cancer Survivor

Perform an objective evaluation of our patient who is having trouble with swelling

Perform an objective evaluation of our patient who is having trouble with swelling
  • Learn to assess skin mobility
  • Conduct a strength assessment
  • Perform limb measurements
  • Treatment exercises for lower extremity swelling
  • Myofascial release stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Stimulation of the supraclavicular lymph nodes
  • Examples of “quick tests” that are beneficial for determining balance
  • Cancer-related fatigue is reported more frequently than any other symptom of cancer
  • Dealing with issues with incontinence bowel and bladder

Cancer Survivorship, Transition of Care and Keys to Developing a Comprehensive Program - Nurse Practitioner-Oncologist Specialist

Cancer Survivorship, Transition of Care and Keys to Developing a Comprehensive Program - Nurse Practitioner-Oncologist Specialist
  • Different specialists noticed that patients were dealing with a lot of treatment issues
  • The four aspects of an excellent, robust survivorship program
  • The provider team that surrounds a patient
  • The financial toxicity that can result from expensive cancer care
  • A survivorship care plan is a crucial component to getting accredited through the Commission on Cancer
  • Cancer programs, survivorship specialty, are set up differently
  • Assessing a cancer survivor in a rehab center or setting by a PT from an NP perspective
  • The Oncology Nursing Society
  • Complementary medicine

Course Test - Evaluate your knowledge

Evaluate your understanding of the online continuing education course material
  • Use the Healthclick proprietary online education system which provides the online student with:
    • Worldwide access to high definition video, anatomical animations and images, and written information
    • The highest quality film in the industry, you can see the difference!
    • Stop and resume within a course, the Healthclick system will optimize your course based on your device, connection and remembers where you left off.
    • Real-time course updates. We are always adding to each courses, updating content, adding animations, these are not static courses!
  • Evaluate your knowledge with the course test on any device.
  • Print your state course certificate for CE credit.
  • Take the online test as many times as need in order to achieve a 70 % or greater score.