During the course of treatment for different types of cancers, including malignant mesothelioma, patients will utilize physical therapy services to assist in the recovery from surgery or the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Often, the patient's ability to recover from physical ailments as a result of traditional cancer treatments, will parallel the effectiveness of the patient's mesothelioma treatment program as a whole. Physical ailments are often the final battle a patient must overcome while undergoing comprehensive cancer care.
Patients undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma will generally receive a therapy program rooted around one or more of the following; surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Nearly all of these treatments require some level of strength or cardiovascular enhancement, either before or after treatment is administered. Patients of malignant mesothelioma, in particular, will typically battle symptomatic reduced lung capacity. Cardiovascular training can assist patients in being prepared to breathe freely before and after cancer care.
Patients undergoing treatment for thoracic cancers, including pleural mesothelioma, and have undergone surgery for resection or partial resection of the lung or abdomen will battle the effects of that surgery on their internal body structures after their operation. For this reason, many thoracic cancer patients receive physical therapy to enhance chest or abdominal wall mobility. Patients who have undergone mesothelioma surgery will also very likely utilize a physical therapist for guidance in scar tissue management and healing.
Often, recovering from mesothelioma chemotherapy treatments can be difficult given that one of chemotherapy's long-lasting side-effects is a general sense of fatigue. Physical therapists can assist long-term follow-up patients with fatigue management, cardiovascular exercise education, strength training, and range of motion stretching motions.
It is important to remember that physical therapists are not solely an asset for patients of malignant mesothelioma, but nearly all cancers. Physical therapists play an important role in the treatment and recovery from multiple myeloma, bone marrow transplants, breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Patients battling the physical symptoms of all cancers and their respective treatments are encouraged to utilize a licensed physical therapist while receiving care.
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer Newsline - Physical Therapy for Cancer Patients
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Who Can Benefit from Physical Therapy