OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924


How Do You Get a Person with Cancer to Exercise?

Andrea Branas, PT, MSE, MPT, CLT

September 28, 2015

Share:

Question

How do you get a person with fatigue from cancer to exercise?

Answer

I have seen a lot of patients with cancer fatigue who have done well with exercise.  Patients are often reticent to do exercise.  They just tell me that I am crazy.  How can they exercise?  They are so tired.  If I can get them to start and get them to start moving, get them to take some deeper breaths, get them to get exercising, and teach them that putting one foot in front of the other, they will slowly progress to doing activity and they feel better.  Sometimes it is just getting over the hurdle of recognizing the exercise is safe.  They are very concerned that they are supposed to rest.  They need to know that exercise is safe and that doing it will make them feel better.  Once you get that one patient in, you can use that patient as a mental example to talk to your other patients about how they can be successful.  As I was thinking about this presentation and discussion, I have a patient in my mind that I saw over the course of last year.  He had had an allogeneic bone marrow transplant.  He is a patient who said he wanted to rest until he felt better.  He did that for so long and he was so deconditioned, that he literally could not walk down the hallway.  He came to therapy and we convinced him that slowly we could get back his energy and his strength.  I saw him only once a week, but over the course of probably 6 weeks, he participated in a home exercise program as recommended.  He did a lot of breathing exercises.  He did some stretching.  He started strengthening and his goal was to be able to get back outside and do gardening.  He was also a painter.  He did it all.  He came back and thanked me.  He said he never thought that he would get to be able to move again.  He did not think he would ever have that strength.  Because he was able to keep up with his exercises and really rebuild his strength and endurance, he was able to do that activity again. 


andrea branas

Andrea Branas, PT, MSE, MPT, CLT

Andrea Branas is a lead physical therapist at Good Shepherd Penn Partners in Philadelphia, PA.  Andrea works in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania Health System providing patient care, education, leadership and training in the area of cancer rehabilitation.  Andrea’s areas of clinical expertise include lymphedema, pelvic floor rehabilitation, breast cancer rehabilitation and exercise for cancer related fatigue. In her current role, Andrea uses her expertise to help cancer survivors reach their physical potential by promoting rehabilitation starting at the time of cancer diagnosis.  She is currently a collaborator on an NIH Funded Dissemination grant to look at strength training for survivors of breast cancer.   Andrea has served as a guest lecturer for women’s health and cancer content at Arcadia and Widener Universities and the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey DPT programs. Andrea received her Masters degree in Physical Therapy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in 1998 and her Master’s of Science in Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991.  She is currently working towards her transition DPT at Arcadia University. 


Related Courses

Disability Inclusion: What Healthcare Providers Need To Know
Presented by Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Live WebinarTue, Jul 12, 2022 at 12:00 pm EDT
Tue, Jul 12, 2022 at 12:00 pm EDT

Presenter

Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Course: #5632Level: Introductory1 Hour
As a person with a disability and an occupational therapist, I have a unique perspective of living in two worlds. In this course, I will share my personal experience and things I wish healthcare providers knew and understood about living with a disability.

Incontinence: A Home Program to Stop Leaks and Teach Healthy Bladder and Bowel Habits
Presented by Tiffany Lee, MA, OTR, BCB-PMD, PRPC
Video

Presenter

Tiffany Lee, MA, OTR, BCB-PMD, PRPC
Course: #5384Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Tiffany Lee is an Excellent presenter'   Read Reviews
Millions of Americans are negatively impacted by bladder dysfunction. This course discusses the OT’s role in treating incontinence, bladder urgency, and nocturia. It also summarizes treatment applications, practical strategies, successful home programs, and how to become board certified in this specialty field.

Treating Sleep Deficits In Individuals With Neurological Impairment Utilizing Occupation-Based Sleep Interventions
Presented by Yvonne Monti, OTD, OTR/L
Live WebinarTue, Jul 26, 2022 at 12:00 pm EDT
Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 12:00 pm EDT

Presenter

Yvonne Monti, OTD, OTR/L
Course: #5646Level: Intermediate1 Hour
The incidence of sleep deficits in the neurological population, as well as the secondary occupational deficits related to fatigue, will be discussed in this course. Occupation-based sleep assessment and intervention techniques will also be introduced.

Expanding Ergonomic Concepts Across Areas Of Occupation
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Live WebinarThu, Jul 21, 2022 at 3:00 pm EDT
Thu, Jul 21, 2022 at 3:00 pm EDT

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #5647Level: Intermediate1 Hour
Applying ergonomic concepts to areas of occupation outside of the domain of work will be reviewed in this course. Rest and sleep, IADLs, education, and leisure participation will also be explored in order to support the health and wellness of persons, groups, and populations using occupational therapy activity analysis and ergonomic principles.

Culture And Spirituality For The Therapy Practitioner
Presented by Scott Wengerd, D.Min, MOT, OTR/L
Video

Presenter

Scott Wengerd, D.Min, MOT, OTR/L
Course: #5414Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'Current information'   Read Reviews
Culture and spirituality are two of the most significant factors that influence the therapist-client relationship and the outcomes of the therapy process. The course examines the aspects of culture and spirituality that are frequently not discussed but help the therapy practitioner understand, relate to, and serve the client more effectively, resulting in better outcomes.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.