On this week’s episode of the Healthy Wealthy and Smart Podcast, Dr. Kim Marshall joins me to talk about oncology rehabilitation. Kim is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who recently directed her continuing education towards rehabilitation of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. In addition to becoming certified in the treatment of lymphedema, Kim completed the STAR training to address and treat other side effects of cancer including unspecified pain, neuropathy and fatigue.
In this episode, we discuss:
-The history of oncology rehabilitation and the role of physical therapists as a healthcare professional ally
-What is lymphedema and how can physical therapists learn to treat this condition
–Common side effects of cancer treatment and the influence on a rehabilitation program
-Important components of patient education and an exercise program for oncology patients
-And so much more!
Direct access oncology patients may not always be aware of the need for specialized care. Kim believes, “We need to be a little bit more available to patients to make sure if we can’t treat them then we’re getting them in the right direction.”
Patient education is critical during the initial phases of cancer treatment. Potential side effects are best screened early on so they can be more easily managed throughout the treatment. Kim states it is important for patients to understand, “Unfortunately if you’ve undergone the treatment for cancer, you’re going to have a new normal.”
Physical therapists are well prepared to be a primary healthcare provider throughout the cancer treatment process, from preparing patients for treatments to supporting patients during treatment and recovery. Kim stresses, “I would be an advocate for finding somebody who you can go over your laundry list, we should be the healthcare providers that patients can come and complain to along with their concerns and fears.”
Kim encourages those interested in oncology rehabilitation to think about the added challenges of this field but also the potential for personal growth from treating this patient population. She shares, “It is really rewarding. There is something about the diagnosis of cancer and facing your own mortality. I always tell my patients I’m on the good end of this in terms of putting people back together. It’s challenging… Every patient is a little different in terms of symptoms and a little bit different in terms of where they are in their recovery.”
For more information on Kim:
Kim received her doctorate of physical therapy from Western University and her physical therapy degree from California State University, Long Beach in 1985. She obtained her Masters degree in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California in 1996.
She has specialized in the treatment of orthopedic injuries for the past 20 years. Recently, Kim has directed her continuing education towards rehabilitation of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Kim developed this interest after her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and, as a result of the surgery and subsequent treatment, her grandmother lost her shoulder mobility and developed lymphedema. In addition to becoming certified in the treatment of lymphedema, Kim completed the STAR training to address and treat other side effects of cancer including unspecified pain, neuropathy and fatigue. Kim co-founded Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation with Michael McKindley in October of 2004.
Resources discussed on this show:
Lymphedema Quality of Life Questionnaire
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