Oncology and the Pelvic Floor

There are over 15 million cancer survivors in the United States

The majority of practitioners begin their pelvic rehabilitation journey by taking Pelvic Floor Level 1, which is an excellent starting point. This course provides the basics of anatomy, techniques, and knowledge needed to start treating patients. 

Another option for your pelvic floor journey is the Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 remote course. Caring for patients with cancer begins at diagnosis, and as a pelvic rehabilitation practitioner, you are an integral part of the oncology team. This course addresses the issues commonly seen in a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer. 

Several cancers can affect the pelvic region and pelvic floor. Such cancers include bladder, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Treatments for pelvic cancers include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and pelvic rehabilitation. These treatment options depend on the tumor size, location, or stage and negatively affect pelvic floor function and quality of life. 

Cancer patients also often have intimacy issues that stem from their diagnosis and treatment. Holly Tanner shares that "...cancer treatment can change relational roles, finances, work-life, independence, and other factors including hormone levels. Exhaustion (on the part of the patient and the caregiver), role changes, changes in libido, and performance anxiety can create further challenges." A pelvic rehabilitation practitioner can assist the patient in their recovery and reframing of intimacy.

In addition to sexual function, the pelvic floor helps to maintain bladder/bowel control (emptying, urges), organ support, and stabilization of the spine/pelvis. Pelvic issues that originate from cancer treatment vary from scar tissue restriction or swelling, fibrosis causing narrowing and hardening of tissues, sexual issues, and lymphedema, among other issues. While some patients may not display symptoms at all, others can develop issues immediately after treatment, or even months after treatment has ended. 

There are over 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. In the next 10 years, this number will increase to over 20 million. The need for trained practitioners to treat patients with cancer diagnoses will only be increasing in the future. Join H&W on August 15-16 in Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 and learn to be part of an interdisciplinary oncology team.

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