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Physical Therapy Continuing Education Course

Part I: Understanding How Cancer and its Treatments Relate to PT

Lecture Name

Part I: Understanding How Cancer and its Treatments Relate to PT     $74.88

This lecture is part of the following course:
Treating a Patient With Cancer: What Outpatient PTs Need to Know


In 2016, it is estimated that 1.7 million individuals in the United States will have been diagnosed with some form of cancer. Although these numbers are twice as much as those who will be diagnosed with stroke (795,000/year) each year in the U.S., and more than 10 times as many as those who will be diagnosed with a spinal cord injury (125,000) each year in the U.S., there continues to be a lack of courses specifically devoted to oncology within physical therapy programs. With a growing population of cancer survivors in the U.S., estimated to be 19 million people living beyond a cancer diagnosis in 2024, all physical therapists should be able to implement personalized care, using current evidence, in order to best treat the oncology population.

Rehabilitation professionals will undoubtedly encounter cancer survivors regardless of their work setting and need to be equipped to provide effective and appropriate treatments. This session aims to demystify the patient with cancer and provide an understanding of the physiological process of cancer and how treatments impact a PT evaluation and treatment. The course will identify red flags for precautions and oncological emergencies that are important in providing safe treatments for the cancer survivor.

Primary lecturer: Shana E. Harrington PT, Ph.D., SCS, MTC

The Academy of Oncologic Physical TherapyNote: The audio for this course was recorded by the Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy at the APTA's Annual Combined Sections Meeting.

Continuing education credits

This course is acceptable for credit in most states for PTs and PTAs. To see the full list of courses approved for continuing education in your state, visit our courses page and filter for "Physical Therapist" or "Physical Therapist Assistant" and your state of licensure.

Contact Hours: 2.50


Difficulty: Intermediate

Goals & Objectives:

At the completion of this seminar, the learner will be able to:

  1. Relate statistics relating to cancer, including who develops cancer, the most prevalent types of cancer, the numbers of new cases and deaths in recent years, and survivorship.
  2. Define a patient's process from testing and diagnosis to staging, grading and treatment planning.
  3. Distinguish between the most prevalent medical treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapies, and other cancer treatments, and recognize the effects and side effects of those treatments.
  4. Identify which patients are at a higher risk of developing cancer, and understand the long-term symptoms of those that survive cancer (and its treatments) for more than five years.
  5. Apply the screening guidelines for patients with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.
  6. Explain the precautions and red flags for treating cancer patients, including oncological emergencies.
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