Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) say blood cancer patients should think about adding physiotherapy interventions to their treatment plans.

Published in the Journal of Physiotherapy, the review study found that physiotherapy interventions, including exercise programs and respiratory management can reduce fatigue, improve physical function and enhance the quality of life for patients diagnosed with blood cancers.

“This highlights the important role physiotherapy can play in the management of cancers,” said Associate Professor Catherine Granger, Physiotherapy Research Lead at the RMH. “Tailored physiotherapy interventions can help alleviate symptoms and improve the overall wellbeing of patients.”

With a focus on the management of adults undergoing treatment for blood cancers, the review suggests physio interventions should be integrated into the standard care for patients to optimise their physical and functional outcomes. Physiotherapy and exercise training is recommended to be integrated for patients with blood cancers before they start treatment, as well as during and after treatment.

“Blood cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, after breast cancer and colorectal cancer,” said A/Prof Granger.

“Therefore, there is a growing number of people in the community with unmet supportive needs, some of which can be addressed by physiotherapy treatment.

“The hope for this review study is that this new approach to treatment will provide hope and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families,” added A/Prof Granger.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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