There are over 100 different types of cancer. Cancer starts in the cells, and is caused when cells grow out of control, dividing and not dying off when they are supposed to. This causes a tumour- not all tumours are cancerous (these are called benign), some can be cancerous (these are called malignant). Cancerous tumours cause problems because they grow into tissues and can spread throughout the body. This is why it is important to identify and remove any sign of cancer as soon as possible, so that its spread can be limited.

Why Choose Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists are experts in the way the body moves. They can help you maintain and improve activity levels through tailored exercise programs, as well as address your symptoms and concerns that may limit your ability to move and participate in activities you would like to pursue. Overall, physical therapy helps to decrease pain and disability while increasing function and quality of life. Physical therapists can help you pre and post treatment in the following ways:


Although there is no known way to prevent any type of cancer, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Becoming physically active and eating a healthy diet on a regular basis can significantly reduce the risk. Other environmental and external factors include: using sunscreen to prevent sun damage as well as limiting alcohol intake and exposure to smoking carcinogens.

Pre & Post Treatment:

  • Pain: Specific mobilization techniques and modalities (such as cold therapy) specific to your needs
  • Fatigue: Help with decreased activity levels due to cancer treatment to help improve energy and overall well-being
  • Lung congestion relief: Assist movement of fluid out of the lungs with compressions to increase quality of breathing
  • Lymphedema: Use of compression or compression garments to help reduce and manage the amount of localized fluid build-up
  • Decreased muscular strength and flexibility: Increase strength and flexibility with a specific individualized program to help with stiffness and muscle weakness
  • Scar mobilization and management: Deep friction massage, mobilizations, laser and ultrasound to help prevent scar tissue build-up (adhesions)
  • Bone, joint and soft tissue mobilization: To help with stifness and flexibility, improving daily movements and activities
  • Correct muscular imbalances: Musculuar imbalances can lead to multiple negative symptoms, and physical therapy can aid in preventing or improving those complications
  • Osteoporosis prevnetion, care and education: Help increase and/or maintain bone strength to prevent fractures

*The symptoms listed are only a few that physiotherapy can help with. Many of the symptoms pre and post treatment overlap. Talk to your doctor to see if physiotherapy would benefit you!

Students from the School of Physiotherapy created printable info sheets on this topic in partnership with the Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the info sheets.