It’s our 200th episode!

To celebrate this monumental occasion, we are recapping some of our most popular episodes. Our guests have dropped some major knowledge over the past 199 episodes, so this was a very challenging episode to edit.

In today’s episode, we’re pulling episodes out of the vault to revisit the best pieces of advice for OncoPTs. Listen now!

How to be safe when working with oncology patients

In my interview with Dr. Susan Maltser, we discussed all about how to be safe when working with oncology patients.

When treating the community-dwelling patient with cancer, there are actually very few precautions we need to implement. Because at this point, they’re already doing all their ADLs: lifting & carrying groceries, carrying their children, working in their garden, etc. They are NOT these fragile porcelain dolls we tend to think they are.

For a general cancer patient living in the community, we are not going to hurt them. We are going to help them.

Dr. Susan Maltser, Ep. 176

Even with bony metastases, there is so much we can do for our patients. We even note that these patients are doing many of the same ADLs we discussed above.

Many rehab pros are afraid of causing a pathologic fracture, but Susan reassures us that most pathologic fractures happen due to disease progression, NOT because we treated them in rehab.

In fact, rehab is truly the best thing for these patients.

Treating the patient beneath the side effects & impairments

Dr. Bri DeWitt, PT has harnessed her own experience with cancer to be a truly extraordinary OncoPT. In our interview from Ep. 139, Bri discusses her own treatment plan; how she dealt with the side effects of chemo, radiation, & surgery; & now how she’s helping her own patients on their cancer journey.

Bri’s interview reminds us to focus on the whole person, not just the diagnosis or treatments they may undergo.

Dosing interventions intentionally to meet goals

It’s tempting to fall back on the good ol’ 3 sets of 10 reps, especially when clinical practice gets busy. However, this doesn’t always help patients meet their goals.

Making interventions salient & actually targeting your goals is critical for success in cancer rehab, for both you & your patient.

In episode 156, I interviewed Drs. Shai Sewell & Andrew Chongaway, PTs about their approach to intentionally dosing interventions in cancer rehab. Their answers surprised me (in the best way possible) in a totally different way than I imagined.

The unique opportunity in cancer rehab

Helping people do the big & small things that are important to them is probably the coolest thing we do as OncoPTs.

One of my favorite people to deliver a swift kick in the pants is Dr. Dan Steventon, PT. Also known as The Kids Cancer PT, Dan has a unique, Fred Rogers-like approach to cancer rehab that we should all be implementing with our patients.

Cancer takes & takes. It’s unfair & it sucks. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a major role to play, even when the outcome is not looking good.

Dan’s words always speak straight to my soul when I need them most. I know they will for you too.

In closing:

So now I want to hear from you: who else should I have included in this episode mash-up? Message me on Instagram and let me know.

Until next time this is Elise with TheOncoPT.  And remember you are exactly the physical therapist that your patients with cancer need. So let’s get to work.