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Published on June 14, 2016

senior man having shoulder pain

Therapy Can Help Cancer Patients Face Challenges

Patients with a diagnosis of cancer face many challenges. They are able to cope with some on their own, but with others, many need a little assistance. Physical, occupational and speech therapies can help with those things that just continue to drag on or even start getting worse. This could be weakness, trouble doing your daily activities or even eating.

Therapy is here to help define what is problematic and assist in getting the patient back on the road to recovery and independence.

Weakness is often seen after many types of cancer. There are chemical, physical and psychological items that go with treatment of cancer that cause the body to slow and not function as well as it once did. The therapists can help find the areas that are weak and in need of a boost. With exercises, coping strategies and education, many patients are able to return to more functional lifestyles.

Here are 11 questions you can ask yourself to see if therapy may be something that would help you.

  1. Do I have pain?
  2. Am I noticing any swelling in the arms, torso or legs?
  3. Am I having fatigue?
  4. Can I move my arms and legs to do all the activities I perform daily? If not, is it because you can’t lift them or because you feel tightness that limits the activity?
  5. Are you noticing problems with your balance or have you fallen?
  6. Is it hard to get in and out of a chair, bed or a vehicle?
  7. Are you having any pelvic pain or incontinence issues?
  8. Are you having any difficulties with daily activities or personal care items such as:
    • Dressing
    • Bathing
    • Getting in and out of a tub or shower
    • Toilet use
    • Household chores
    • Activity tolerance
  1. Are you having any difficulties swallowing?
  2. Do you feel like memory issues are limiting your daily function?
  3. Are you having difficulty communicating?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, talk to your doctor about it. See if they agree that some therapy may be beneficial to help get back on track. There are eight Avera Therapy locations in Sioux Falls and Brandon, or you can call 605-322-5123 to find the location nearest you.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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