People of any age who are diagnosed with cancer can maximize strength and function during and after cancer treatment. Patients undergoing cancer treatment may experience one or more of the following side effects:
- Decreased muscle strength
- Decreased bone density
- Peripheral neuropathy related to chemotherapy
- Lymphedema or swelling disorders
- Difficulty walking
Our physical therapists can help address these and other issues through education and exercise. Each physical therapist works closely with the general oncology team and the pediatric and adult transplant teams to provide appropriate rehabilitation services to increase function and independence, both during and after cancer treatment. Children at least six years old and all adult patients with any type of cancer diagnosis can receive treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Physical Therapy Department.
Some patients may already have strength loss due to other concurrent disease, such as diabetes or heart disease, or due to prior cancer treatments initiated before beginning treatment at SCCA. Improving and maintaining strength during cancer treatments helps to prevent or reduce the risk of complications, such as infection, as well as to enhance quality of life. Physical therapy helps patients and their caregivers regain a sense of hope and control over their health by teaching proper and safe exercise to rebuild function, endurance, and muscle and bone strength.
Read more about who can benefit from physical therapy.
SCCA Physical Therapy Services
We provide individualized physical assessment and treatment plans for the following:
- Weakness secondary to disease or cancer treatment or muscle atrophy
- Fatigue/decreased endurance
- Impaired balance
- Peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling and decreased balance or walking
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia
- Scar tissue management after surgery
- Lymphedema risk reduction and management
- Limited flexibility or range of motion
- Pain management
- Rehabilitation equipment and assistive-device needs (such as canes and walkers)
To schedule physical therapy, SCCA patients must be referred by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
Location and Hours
- Location: The SCCA physical therapy office is on the fourth floor of the SCCA clinic.
- Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Phone: (206) 288-6373
- Fax: (206) 288-2224
Lexi Harlow, DPT, CLT, graduated from the University of Puget Sound with her doctorate degree in physical therapy in 2005. She runs the physical therapy department at SCCA. She is certified in lymphedema management, is licensed by the State of Washington and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Oncology Section of the APTA.
Rachel Douglas, MPT, CLT, received her masters degree in physical therapy from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles in 1996. She currently works part-time in our clinic, is certified in lymphedema management and specializes in urinary incontinence treatment and prevention. Rachel is licensed by the State of Washington.
Andréa Leiserowitz, MPT, CLT, received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1996. She developed the physical therapy clinic at SCCA in 2003 and currently works per diem. Andréa is certified in lymphedema management, is licensed by the State of Washington and is a member of the APTA and the Oncology Section and Hospice and Palliative Care Section of the APTA.
Shawn Israel, DPT, received her doctorate degree from the University of Washington in 2008. Shawn works full time in our clinic, is licensed by the State of Washington and is a member of the APTA and the Oncology and Pediatric sections of the APTA.
Sue Frohreich, MPT, CLT, LANA, is the newest member of the SCCA Physical Therapy team. She received her master’s degree from University of California at San Francisco/San Francisco State University in 1996. Sue works full time in our clinic, is certified in lymphedema management and is a certified ergonomic evaluation specialist (CEES). She is licensed by the State of Washington and is a member of the APTA and the Oncology Section of the APTA.