Virginia Physical Therapy to Help Cancer Patients

Between treatments like Chemo, radiation, and surgery, the fight against cancer can really take a toll on the patient’s body.

That’s why rehabilitation and physical therapists in the Centra STAR program – Survivorship and Rehab, are using physical therapy to bring a new quality of life to cancer patients.

Berkeley Vicks has been using the program in her fight against breast cancer.

“I compare it to being on a roller coaster — it was fast and scary and there was no stopping,” Vicks said.

When all her cancer treatments started affecting her quality of life, Vicks doctors referred her to the STAR program to try and get her moving again with the help of some physical therapy.

“It happened so fast I wasn’t prepared for how the surgery would affect me,” Vicks said. “I realized that my range of motion was affected — lots of things.”

New crews spoke with physical therapist Jessica Holder about just how the STAR program improves the lives of her patients.

“If we can start therapy early on in their recovery process — even sometimes before they start the treatment — then we can maintain their level of function, maintain their quality of life and improve their overall outcome,” Holder said.

This means improving the odds of patients beating cancer without having to stay in bed all day.

“I always ask the first day, what is your goal for therapy? A lot of times it’s I want to be able to lift my new grandbaby,” Holder said. “Whatever their goal is we want them to achieve that.”

For Vicks, her goal was to be able to take her bike out for a ride over the summer, which through the help of rehabilitation therapists at STAR, she was able to accomplish.

“It allowed me to get out and walk, bike ride,” Vicks said. “I can’t get enough exercise right now.”

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