Role of Physiotherapy in Improving Lifestyle of Female Cancer Patients

Review Article

J Drug Discov Develop and Deliv. 2022; 8(1): 1040.

Role of Physiotherapy in Improving Lifestyle of Female Cancer Patients

Shardeshu S¹, Malvika L² and Niharika L*³

1Department of Physiotherapy, PhysioAdviser India, NKS Hospital, Gulabi Bagh, Delhi, India

2Department of Physiotherapy, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi, India

3Department of Pharmacy, Metro College of Health Sciences and Research, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

*Corresponding author: Niharika Lal, Department of Pharmacy, Metro College of Health Sciences and Research, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, 201310, India

Received: March 21, 2022; Accepted: April 12, 2022; Published: April 19, 2022


Cancer patients are frequently treated by physical therapists. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are examples of cancer treatments that are always improving and thereby increasing patient survival with each new cancer diagnosis. More specifically, with each cancer diagnosis, 5-year survival rates rise. Muscle weakness, lung dysfunction, weariness, and discomfort are all issues that cancer patients face. Finally, cancer patients’ activities of daily living (ADL) and quality of life tend to deteriorate (QOL). The inclement of increased breast and ovarian cancer in females are leading year by year. The psychological consequences of breast and ovarian cancer on women, as well as the psychosocial elements that may influence the cancer’s disease process and psychophysical result. The female cancer patients frequently experience worsening disease, sadness, and worry. Physical therapy can help patients regain strength and physical function, as well as enhance their quality of life and daily living independence, which may have been lost as a result of cancer or its treatment. Physical therapy may become increasingly important in the treatment of female cancer patients in the future.

Keywords: Cancer; Diagnosis; Physical Therapy; Breast cancer; Ovarian Cancer


Cancer and its treatments are linked to a wide spectrum of debilitating physical and psychological effects that can last for years after treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery often cause physical dysfunction and deficiencies in muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance in cancer patients.

Physiotherapy is an important part of symptomatic treatment for cancer patients who are still receiving palliative care. Its major goal is to enhance their overall quality of life. This is accomplished, among other things, by reducing the most annoying symptoms linked with cancer and other conditions that limit patients’ activities. Maintaining a realistic degree of physical activity and self-reliance in patients within the constraints set by the disease’s characteristics is also critical, as is effectively assisting them in adapting to their new functional restrictions [1].

Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is one of the symptoms that have been shown to have a significant impact on overall quality of life in those individuals. Unfortunately, CRF is frequently misdiagnosed by physicians as a genuine component, and is thus rarely mentioned when discussing specific coping strategies with patient. The lack of physical activity among patients is one of the reasons that aggravate CRF [2]. As a result, physical activities have become one of the most important aspects of non-pharmacological fatigue syndrome treatment. Many studies have confirmed the overall benefit of various forms of physical activity in CRF patients who are still undergoing intensive cancer treatment as well as cancer survivors.

Breast and ovarian cancer are two of the most often diagnosed cancers in Indian women. Early identification of these tumours requires cost-effective approaches. Breast and ovarian cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recurrence are difficult experiences that can have a variety of effects on a woman’s mental health and family life [3]. The physical effects of such an illness are clear, but the emotional, mental, and psychological changes that accompany a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis are also significant. A terminal illness affects all element of a person’s life. They are constantly worried about experiencing all of these events if they relapse. A lot of research has gone into figuring out of cancer patients and survivors are more likely to have poor mental health and a poor quality of life (QOL) [4].

Strength, soft tissue tightness, joint stiffness, fatigue, and swelling or edema can all be improved with physical therapy. Experts can use physical therapy to determine the best strategies for cancer patients to stay active. Clinically effective physical therapy-led exercise can assist cancer patients improve their quality of life. Stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercises are included in the therapy for inpatients, outpatients, and cancer survivors. It frequently aids patients in regaining strength, physical function, quality of life, and independence in activities of daily living (ADL) that they may have lost as a result of cancer or therapy [5]. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including pre- and post-operative care, acute care, nursing homes, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. In order to enhance overall functional results, physical therapists collaborate with the rehabilitation team to construct components of a survivorship care plan. There are four stages of cancer, and each stage has its own set of symptoms and limitations. Physical therapists frequently use four cancer rehabilitation stages to identify the stage of cancer patients before beginning physical therapy. During each stage of cancer, several ways to treatment are used [6].

General Concept of Physiotherapy

Physical therapists give services to individuals and populations to help them develop, maintain, and restore their full mobility and functional ability throughout their lives. The service is provided in situations where movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions, and/or environmental variables, with the understanding that functional movement is fundamental to being healthy [7]. Physical therapy is a process in which the physical therapist interacts with patients/clients, other health professionals, families, caregivers, and communities to examine/ assess movement potential and set goals using knowledge and abilities specific to physical therapists. Before, during, and after physical treatment, physical therapists must examine each cancer patient using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model [8]. ICF allows physical therapists to deliver therapy to cancer patients. Cancer patients face numerous issues as a result of cancer treatment or the disease itself. Manual muscle testing (MMT), range of motion (ROM), balancing test, endurance test, and ADL test should all be included in a physical therapy evaluation. Performance status, Palliative Performance Scale [9], Barthel index (BI), functional independence measure (FIM), and quality of life (QOL) are also employed as cancer patient assessment measures. Physical therapists should be aware that cancer patients are at risk for infectious illnesses as a result of the treatment’s immunosuppressive effects. As a result, physical therapists must address cancer and treatment-related risks. Physical therapists must also understand that cancer is a disease that progresses [10]. In general, cancer patients’ physical function deteriorates over time. Physical therapists must be informed of cancer progression and patients’ prognosis once a goal has been defined. Patients with cancer may be afraid about recurrence or death. Physical therapy may help cancer patients reduce tiredness, increase muscle strength and exercise capacity, and improve their quality of life (Table 1-3).