Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
during and after cancer
Pelvic Health after cancer
Cancers affecting the structures and organs in the pelvis are more common than you may think. In fact, 23% of women and nearly 45% of men with newly diagnosed cancers occur in the pelvis (uterine, ovarian, cervical, bladder, colorectal, and prostate).
Unfortunately, the treatments for these types of cancer (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) can lead to long term issues such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal stenosis (narrowing of the vaginal canal)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Urinary issues (leaking, frequency, urgency)
- GI irregularities (constipation, urgency, fecal incontinence)
Although seemingly removed from the pelvic region, breast cancer has also been linked to long-term pelvic health issues. This is primarily related to the onset of menopause caused directly by chemotherapy, hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen and Aromatase Inhibitors), and ovarian suppression.
The effects of living with these ongoing and often undiagnosed issues can deeply affect both the mental and physical health of these people, as well as their quality of life. With the proper treatment, many of these issues can be resolved or managed. Seeing a physiotherapist equipped to assess and treat the pelvic floor is strongly recommended both during and after cancer treatment.
The Importance of the pelvic floor
There is strong evidence to support the important role of pelvic floor physiotherapy during cancer rehabilitation for both men and women (Rutledge et al 2014, Yang et al 2012, Lin et al 2015). Recognizing that issues relating to pelvic floor health are often sensitive, perhaps especially so during and after the experience of cancer treatment, Beth is committed to providing a comfortable and professional environment in which to assess, treat, and support the recovery of her clients.
As a physiotherapist Beth is able to assess and treat your pelvic floor needs. This may include:
- Manual therapy to address pelvic floor over or under-activity
- Breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques
- Postural and ergonomic education
- Exercises to increase the mind-body connection to your pelvic floor muscles (proprioception)
- Basic dietary modification advice
- Education on the use of vaginal lubricants, moisturizers, and other possible tools
Yang EJ et. al. (2012). Effect of a pelvic floor muscle training program on gynecologic cancer survivors with pelvic floor dysfunction: A randomized controlled trial. Gynecologic Oncology. 125(3): 705-71