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Physical Therapy Continuing Education Course

Part II: Evaluation, Chemotherapy, and Exercise for the Oncology Patient

Lecture Name

Part II: Evaluation, Chemotherapy, and Exercise for the Oncology Patient     $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 second session of three lectures further explains how treatments for cancer impact a PT evaluation and treatment. The course will define the role and principles of rehabilitation as they relate to cancer, and will discuss how to develop an appropriate exercise program for patients who have a history of cancer or are currently undergoing active cancer treatment. The instructors will discuss how cancer and its treatments may affect a patient's PT treatment plan, and how to modify accordingly for a safe and effective treatment.

Primary lecturer: Frannie Westlake PT, DPT, NCS

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. Carry out a thorough evaluation of a patient who has a history of cancer, and know when to refer to outside healthcare practitioners.
  2. Discuss the primary components of the nervous system and cell cycle.
  3. Identify at least three classes of chemotherapy drugs.
  4. Explain the side effects for a variety of chemotherapies.
  5. Perform a cardiovascular risk assessment, including patient physical activity readiness and identification of relative and absolute contraindications.
  6. Identify signs and symptoms of cardiopulmonary and metabolic deficits (red flags).
  7. Develop an appropriate exercise program for an oncology patient.
  8. Discuss current research topics surrounding exercise with specific impairments in the oncology patient.
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