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One of the scariest things we are experiencing is the rising number of people being diagnosed with cancer and there's no right or wrong way to deal with it, each person has their own way of both approaching and managing their rehabilitation.

 

Here I am going to talk about Soft Tissue Therapy for Oncology

Soft Tissue Therapists can be involved in all stages of treatment, we may be the ones to help you get those last ranges of motion available so that you can throw a ball to your child.  Or we could be the first person to recommend that you get that unfamiliar tissue that we can feel checked out.

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What is Cancer?

(with a little extra detail)

Cancer is a mass of cells which do not display at characteristics of regular cells and as a result are harmful to the body

Every cell in our body has a life span and a genetic code, some times the life span of these cells is short and other times it is long.  We normally need to generate new cells as we are growing or when a cell gets 'worn-out' and/or damaged.  

 

Cell growth (a process also known as mitosis) is a process where a cell with a particular code will split to produce and new cell with the same gentic code so that the cell builds the correct components to function(a new liver cell will be produced by liver cells, a new lung cell will be produced by lung cells, and so on and so forth).  As the cell grows it has to pass through a number of 'checkpoints' to ensure that it is a healthy and functional cell.  Should at any of these checkpoiont the cell have a fault, it it then dies (known as apoptosis).

However, cancerous cells are mutations of cells when apoptosis does not occur .  Why do they mutate?  Because there is a chemical substance (and other agents) in the tissue that change the DNA of the cell (carcinogen), one mutation alone will not necessarily make a cell cancerous, it can take several mutations for a cancerous cell to occur.  Unlike other cells in the body which grow as and when we need, cancerous cells move independently and will grow an an uncontrollable rate whether the body needs them or not.  Not only this, unlike other cells which are designed to stay where they are needed to function, cancerous cells can move through all the tissues in the body travelling around the body freely and growing wherever they decide they want to grow into a mass.

What Treatments Are Available?

Below are some treatment options available for people who are diagnosed with cancer however, there is the option to decide not to take any medical intervention and the choice is yours and nobody else's but it is good to know what your options are and what help is available to you.                   have a great support team who can help with any difficult decision making when it comes to choosing the treatment option that sits in your heart.

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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy targets cancer cells, destroying their ability to grown and divide.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy targets  the specific area where the cancerous cells lay using high energy rays.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses the immune system to find and fight the cancerous cells

Targeted

Therapy

Targeted therapy uses specific drugs to find and destroy cancerous cells.  Some targetd therapy is also immunotherapy

Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia heats cancer cells to a temperature of 113 deg F to help destroy and slow the growth of cancer cells

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy uses medicine to lower or block hormones to stop the growth of cancer cells

Photodynamic

Therapy

Photodynamic therapy uses light and a light sensitive drug to target cancer cells

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy uses your own or donor stem cells to help repair damaged cells in the body

Soft Tissue Therapy is hands-on-therapy that incorporates an array of techniques to provide a treatment tailored to suit the needs of an individual on both a therapeutic and medical level and none of this changes when it comes to Oncology.  A Soft Tissue Therapist, Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist working in Oncology has an understanding of the disease and how not only how it effects the body but also how the cancer treatment effects the body.  This ensures so that they can help you to provide a service to help you with your therapeutic and a medical needs specifically for those undergoing treatment.

Soft Tissue Therapy can work alongside your Cancer treatment or as a stand alone service, it has so many benefits that are not just physical including:

Where Soft Tissue Comes Into Play

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- Provide Pain Relief

- Reduce Skin Problems

- Reduce Muscle Soreness

- Reduce lymphoma and Oedema 

- Decrease Radio/Chemotherapy symptomology.
 

- Increase Nutritional intake

- Improve scar elasticity & reduces scar tissue 

- Stimulate Lymphatic flow

- Provide reassurance and positive encouragement for mental health, loneliness reduction and positive body

Hands-on-treatment is perfectly safe before, during and after your Cancer treatment.  You do not need a referral or a recommendation from a medical professional but it is important that you choose a therapist who is qualified in Oncology so that they can understand how to approach you and your needs.  Always ask questions should you have them 

Bridging The Gap
An Integrative Approach

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Until recently non-medical treatments to cancer have been seen as 'Alternative Therapies'.  However as time has progressed people are understanding that a lot of non-medical approaches to Oncology are not trying to provide a service as an alternative but as an integrative one to work alongside whatever treatment you choose.  In the same way that your consultant will work with your surgeon and your nurse during cancer treatment administration, there are also an array of physical therapists, nutritionists and psychotherapists who are available to work with you both during and continuously into long after your treatment has ended.  Whether you are in the middle of your treatment of you in remission there may be a number of side effects you may be experiencing that require treatment that you doctor may not be able to provide.  These include but of course  are not limited to:

- Peripheral Neuropathy

- Chording

- Visceral Scar Tissue

- Anxiety

- Body Dysmorphia

- Phantom Limb

- Lymphedoema

- Infertility

- Depression

- Digestion Problems

The effects of Cancer do not end when your Chemotherapy ends or when your Radiotherapy ends or when whichever treatment you choose ends.  It is a journey that you could be on for the rest of your life; physically, mentally and emotionally and there are therapies available too you should you need.

Moving Forward

From diagnosis to remission and beyond Soft Tissue Therapy can provide an integrative service  to help your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.  By communicating with Consultants and other therapists we can help to ensure that you are receiving as much help possible to support you before, during, after your treatment and alongside you for the whole of your journey.

If you feel you or somebody you may know may benefit from Oncology Treatment, or if you have any questions or general enquiries. you can emai info@serenamorgan.com.