Physiotherapy & Cancer

with Ziad Rahbani - 2016-02-18

“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.”

- Ingrid Bergman -

February is the month of cancer. To all cancer people reading this article, I am dedicating this to you.

It is well known that we, as physical therapists, are exercise experts offering our full support to individuals with diseases in order to improve their physical ability. Our skills aim to treat and prevent various life-threatening diseases in the world such as: Heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Cancer is a very wide term that is mainly characterized by uncontrolled malignant cell growth, making itself a leading cause of death that will continue to rise in the following years.

Physical therapy has a prominent contribution in treating this disease by optimizing the health and providing a better quality of life for these people through a prescription of exercises and practical advice for a healthier and improved lifestyle .

The World Health Organization [WHO] states that more than 30% of cancer may be prevented by either modifying or avoiding key risk factors like:


·        Overweight

·        Physical inactivity

·        Tobacco use

·        Low fruit/vegetable intake

·        Alcohol abuse

·        Urban air pollution


Recent studies have shown that there is a very strong link between practicing sports and cancer. In fact, physical inactivity is associated with a higher cancer mortality. Exercising as a cancer patient; will not only lower the chance of death, but will also improve cancer survival through: 

·        Increasing upper and lower body strength

·        Improving cancer-related fatigue

·        Enhancing physical functioning

Being a cancer patient is very challenging.However;there is always hope! Physical activity is one crucial aspect of intervention that will ease your life. It is recommended to perform 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercises per week to have a positive effect.

Stay Strong!

Ziad Rahbani
Physical Therapy student, Public Health Department