Physio & OT Support for Cancer

Our caring Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and Occupational Therapists are experienced in providing support to people and families living with cancer.

Our services are always delivered with our values of trust, compassion & care and we understand our role is not just to provide therapy, it must be delivered with empathy and love.

Our treatment plans are developed to support recovery and optimise the patient’s ability to deal with the sometimes-debilitating side effects of cancer treatments.

All of our treatment decisions are evidence-based and are informed by guidelines from the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Our Services

At Total Health Physio our Allied Health professionals can:

  • Provide tailored exercise programs designed to best support those dealing with cancer
  • Provide important encouragement, motivation and support through programs designed to meet specific needs
  • Provide postoperative recovery and exercise support (such as mastectomy recovery support)
  • Provide support through palliative care
  • Encourage ongoing exercise to promote endorphin release and strengthen wellbeing
  • Identifying any functional or pain-based limitations and strategies to overcome them
  • Arrange access to assistive technology or in-home modifications that may be beneficial
  • Solve practical issues around the tasks of daily living, and can also support people in finding ways to cope with their diagnosis
  • Help people feel love, enjoyment, trust, compassion and care

Young caring lovely caregiver and happy ward. Image of caregiver and senior resting in the living room. Smiling caregiver taking care of a happy elderly woman

Appropriate Referrals for Total Health Physio

Anyone who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, no matter what stage they are at, can contact us to discuss our services.

We provide services designed to:

  • Support those who are in remission
  • Support preparation for surgery
  • Support post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Support recovery and survival as well as palliative care as needed

We are mobile through South-East Melbourne and see people at their home. We are great listeners and do our best to help people live their best life.

The role of Physiotherapy for Cancer Patients: Understanding the Evidence

There is significant evidence indicating the importance of prescribed exercise in managing cancer and the side effects of cancer treatments.

Recent recommendations by the American College of Sports Medicine promote the systemic use of exercise prescription to mitigate the effects of cancer treatment and improve survival rates [Reference 1].

Evidence shows that participation in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, as well as resistance training, contributes to better outcomes for patients. A further study demonstrates that exercise during and after cancer treatment improves quality of life.

Guidelines recommend that health professionals such as Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists design individualised exercise programs for people living with and beyond cancer.

Studies [Reference 2] have also shown that exercise lowers the risk of seven types of cancers including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer

In addition, for survivors of breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer, exercise has been shown to improve survival rate after diagnosis.

Further information

The Cancer Council Australia has excellent resources for cancer patients and their carers.

They can provide information about different types of cancer, as well as about how to access appropriate supports.

At Total Health Physio we always look at the patient holistically. We work closely with other professionals in the allied health and medical fields in order to best understand the needs of people who are experiencing cancer.

We also have extensive experience assisting people within the NDIS and the aged care sector who are suffering from cancer, so we are experienced at supporting clients who are dealing with multiple challenges.


A young black disabled woman with a wheelchair and a bright colored sweater and her Asian friend walk around the city.

A Clinical Reflection – Total Health Physio

Total Health Physio has recently been helping a client who was diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago, and who recently discovered that the cancer had returned. Sadly, it has metastasised and is now present in her brain as well as in her bones.

Her daughters contacted our team at Total Health Physio because they were concerned about her mobility. She was no longer undertaking any of her normal activities and was largely confined to her bed.

Our initial assessment revealed that she was primarily dealing with a lot of fear, and she needed support. Our Occupational Therapist assisted with a bathroom modification and helped her to become confident walking with a frame.

We also provided a bed exercise program as well as basic strength and balance exercises so that she can work on improving her overall strength, balance and endurance.

With the help of a multidisciplinary team, we supported her to become more independent. She has made significant progress and is now able to:

  • Get out of bed independently
  • Dress and shower herself
  • Engage in regular exercise

She is now able to walk down the street, which was one of her initial goals.

Client motivation is often a key factor when it comes to providing successful therapy for cancer patients. In this case, we were able to work with the client to build her motivation to enjoy her normal activities.

She was able to see that building her confidence with these things would enable her to experience simple pleasures such as walking down the street to the coffee shop and enjoying being in the sunshine.

These are small things, but they have a significant positive impact on quality of life.

At Total Health Physio, there is no goal too small to matter, our patients have our total commitment and care.

Total Health Physio is Ready to Help

Please reach out and chat to us at Total Health Physio.

We can discuss how to best support loved ones, and talk through the ways we may be able to assist in improving their quality of life.

Our team members are skilled at creating meaningful relationships. This is particularly important with those suffering from cancer.

We help clients to feel positive about continuing to live their life as independently as possible while also fighting, learning to live with cancer and overcoming it.