Ep. 121 – How to be a safe OncoPT

Picture of episode graphic, showing colorful construction hats. Episode title: Ep. 121 – How to be a safe OncoPT

PT school teaches us a lot, but not really how to be safe when working with people after a cancer diagnosis. When our patients are a walking red flag, we need concrete info on how to actually help them.

In this episode, we’re discussing 5 key factors of being a safe OncoPT. Are you paying attention to these in your practice?

I’ve included several of my go-to resources below, including my affiliate link for Survivorship Solutions Core Competencies in Interdisciplinary Cancer Rehabilitation course (use code ONCOPT to save!).

Treatment side effects

  • What treatment is the person undergoing
  • What treatment DID the person receive?
  • What structures were affected/potentially affected by the treatment?

Lab values

Hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cells, platelets, absolute neutrophil count, just to name a few.


  • General rules still apply here for people with cancer or a history of cancer
  • With that said, RPE may be better indicator.


  • Bone
  • Soft tissue/other structures

Oncologic emergencies

  • Structural or mechanically included: spinal cord compression, malignant pericardial effusion, superior vena cava syndrome
  • Metabolic oncologic emergencies: hypercalcemia, tumor lysis syndrome
  • Hematologic emergencies: neutropenic fever, venothrombolic events

More Resources:

Maltser article

Acute Care PT lab values

Wells Criteria for DVT

Survivorship Solutions course – use code ONCOPT to save! (this is my affiliate link – I earn a commission on each sale at no extra cost to you)

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