When people undergo cancer treatments it’s often associated with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. When it’s time for recovery, patients continue with rehabilitation and physical therapy. Pelvic floor therapy is becoming an essential part of recovery for cancer patients. Surgeries and radiation treatments can damage pelvic floor muscles and cause scarring in the connective tissues of the pelvic floor. Bowel and bladder function can be negatively affected by cancer therapies. Patients undergoing treatment for uterine, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer can be at risk for pelvic floor problems.
At the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center, there are pelvic floor therapists and trained assistants available to patients to help them strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. They also can work with physicians to treat bowel and bladder problems and issues of pelvic pain after cancer therapies. With these dedicated pelvic floor therapists, cancer patients are guided through more direct physical therapy that can help strengthen the pelvic floor, helping patients regain control of their bladder pre-and post-treatment.
Katie Newhouse and Armaghan Angela Yekrangi, pelvic health therapists at Todd Cancer Institute are devoted to working closely with patients to help strengthen their bodies. Pelvic health therapists can make an impact and help cancer patients with their pelvic floor conditions through:
- Pelvic floor exercises and therapy – Physical therapists work closely with patients to create a plan of various exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor such as Kegels, diaphragmic breathing also known as “belly breathing,” and bridge pose to name a few.
- Massage therapy – Pelvic floor deep tissue massage is a specific form of therapy that can treat the lasting pain and other symptoms that are caused by pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Nutrition and supplements – Dietary changes such as removing alcohol and caffeine contribute to a healthy and stable pelvic floor. Physical therapists can make recommendations on diets and supplements that fit your needs.
The MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center is committed to helping patients overcome the challenges of cancer in the state-of-the-art Todd Cancer Pavilion. The Todd Cancer Institute provides an inspirational environment where patients, families and an expert care team work together to develop individualized treatment plans.
The Todd Cancer Institute works closely with the Pelvic Health Center at Long Beach Medical Center offering patients a comprehensive blend of community and hospital-based programs to bring relief for pelvic floor conditions. Through a network of providers, the Pelvic Health Center offers innovative treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction issues. Surgical procedures are provided by skilled pelvic surgeons, including fellowship-trained urogynecologists and PFD-experienced urologists, gynecologists and colorectal specialists. Patients receive personalized treatment plans utilizing the least invasive therapies available.