Services: Cancer Rehabilitation
Toronto Physiotherapy specializes in providing cancer rehabilitation services to help manage the common side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Our integrated approach to rehabilitation addresses an important need for cancer care services in Toronto.
While your physicians have the resources and expertise to treat your cancer, we have the tools and techniques to help you manage the short and long term side effects of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Managing side effects during and after cancer treatment can significantly improve your quality of life, long-term survival, and help you get back to doing what you love.
For more information on common side effects of breast cancer treatment, please see: Top 3 Musculoskeletal Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment and Top 4 Nerve Disorder Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment
Cancer rehabilitation services at our clinics are provided by Registered Physiotherapists (or for some conditions Registered Massage Therapists) with special expertise. Our cancer rehabilitation services are therefore covered as ‘physiotherapy’ or ‘massage therapy’ under extended health insurance plans, and our receipts also qualify as a tax deductible medical expense on your tax return. For a list of our physiotherapy and massage therapy service fees, please see here.
Cancer Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy:
Specialized physiotherapy can be used to treat a range of side effects arising from cancer treatment including:
- Axillary Web Syndrome,
- decreased range of motion,
- musculoskeletal disorders,
- nerve disorders,
- vaginal and urinary symptoms of estrogen loss,
We have the knowledge and training to help you manage the side effects specific to your cancer history, and can incorporate a range of tools into your treatment, including Toronto’s first AlterG Anti-Gravity treadmill, acupuncture, and other treatment modalities without additional cost. We also offer Acupuncture services by a Registered Acupuncturist, with the goal of helping to alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer treatment.
We can help to reduce the tightness, decreased range of motion, and pain caused by scarring due to tumor excision and tissue reconstruction.
In addition to the regular benefits of routine exercise (improved strength, immune function, body composition, and self-esteem), exercise therapy has been proven to reduce fatigue, pain, nausea, depression and improve the quality of life, fitness and survival of cancer patients. Our own Lindsay Davey contributed to a recent breast cancer exercise study that shows that the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s HEALTh breast cancer exercise program improves fitness, quality of life and depression in breast cancer survivors.
At Toronto Physiotherapy we design an individualized exercise therapy program where we teach you how to exercise on your own. Your customized program is designed to suit your home or gym, and can include periodic follow-up to ensure appropriate technique and proper progression. Patients learn the skills to incorporate therapeutic exercise into their lives and continue it on their own.
We offer a one hour consultation (pre- or post- cancer treatment) that can include taking lymphedema baseline measurements and teaching lymphedema prevention techniques and self-massage (if applicable), education on managing fatigue, pain, functional limitations, and cancer rehabilitation options. Exercise principles are also discussed.
Lymphedema is a frequent side-effect of lymph node damage and/or removal during cancer therapy, affecting approximately 30%-40% of patients. Our therapists are trained in Combined Decongestive Therapy for lymphatic swelling, and have experience dealing with a range of other swelling conditions including venous insufficiency and non-specific swelling. Learn more about our lymphedema treatment and prevention services here.
Why Choose Toronto Physiotherapy?
- We have an experienced and knowledgeable team.
- Our therapists have received specialized training in cancer rehabilitation, are certified in Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT), and are also certified lymphedema Compression Garment Authorizers for the Ontario Assistive Devices Grant Program (a service we provide free of charge).
- We have pelvic floor, orthopedic, and neuroloic physiotherapists on staff that can support your rehabilitation.
- All our services are provided in private treatment rooms, and are one-on-one for the full duration with a registered therapist.
- We provide therapy covered by most extended health care plans. For some services patients can be treated either by a Registered Physiotherapist or Registered Massage Therapist, depending on patient needs and coverage.
- We can provide rehabilitation services in the comfort of your home.
- We do not require a doctor referral (but can work closely with your physicians).
- We work in two modern and inviting clinics, conveniently located at Broadview and Danforth in East Toronto, and at Yonge and St.Clair in Midtown.
At Toronto Physiotherapy we are passionate about treating, educating and supporting individuals with cancer. Our goal of improving the lives of cancer patients through rehabilitation stems from the experiences of our founder and Clinic Director, Lindsay Davey. Before pursuing a degree in Physiotherapy, and post-graduate studies in cancer rehabilitation, Lindsay worked as a molecular biologist at Princess Margaret Hospital where she earned a Master’s degree in cancer research for her work on the effects of radiation therapy on gene regulation. During her years as a scientist, Lindsay realized the profound impact that health professionals can have on the lives of cancer patients, and discovered her calling as a rehabilitation specialist.
Lindsay is a well known lecturer on lymphedema and cancer rehabilitation. She gives regular presentations at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s Breast HEALTH program, Sunnybrook Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, Wellspring, and Gilda’s Club.
Cancer Rehabilitation Self-Help Resources
Visit our Lymphedema Page for lymphedema self-help resources including a video demonstration of self-massage, and presentation slides from Lindsay’s talks.
Visit the cancer rehabilitation section of our Rehab Science Blog to read our reviews of the latest in cancer rehabilitation research, and to access self-help articles.