Cancer, Palliative Care & Lymphoedema Network

The APA Cancer, Palliative Care and Lymphoedema Network will give physiotherapists working in these three (similar but different) clinical areas a chance to demonstrate the important role that they have for this ever expanding clientele. The common link to these three areas of physiotherapy is cancer care – or oncology.

The physiotherapists that work in these areas will work with patients that have a range of needs from managing fatigue; pain; muscle and joint stiffness; shortness of breath; swelling; deconditioning – strength and cardiovascular; laryngectomy management; positioning for rest/sleep; mobility and functional assessment; gait and falls risks; as well as the screening, prevention and management of lymphoedema, to name a few.

Physiotherapists in cancer care have a role to play in prevention, screening (red flags), management of cancer symptoms, proactive prevention/ management of acute, chronic and latent effects of cancer treatment (systemic therapies, surgery, radiation therapy).

Physiotherapists in palliative care work across all clinical areas – cancer care, neurology, renal, cardiology for instance. Physiotherapists assist with prevention and management of symptoms under a palliative model and do also play a role in a person’s end of life care.

Lymphoedema is usually associated with women post breast cancer surgery. However, lymphoedema can be primary or secondary and caused by a number of factors. Cancer treatment is just one. Injury/ trauma, congenital deficiencies, obesity and infection are other causes. Lipoedema is also managed under this broader heading of lymphoedema.

To join, or for more information, contact your local branch on 1300 306 622 or ng@physiotherapy.asn.au