Oncology Physiotherapy For Colorectal Cancer

It is estimated that more than 15,300 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2023. The average age of diagnosis is 65,  and one in 20 people in Australia will be diagnosed with bowel cancer by the time they are 85.

Treatment of bowel cancer commonly includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The location and type of bowel cancer depicts what type of surgery you will have and what your recovery will look like.

Oncology physiotherapists can help bowel cancer patients with their recovery after surgery and treatment by:

  • Teaching them how to regain their strength and movement after surgery and chemotherapy,
  • Providing education and advice on managing bowel dysfunction (like constipation and incontinence) including pelvic floor exercises,
  • Using manual hands on physiotherapy and breathing exercises to manage scar pain and tightness,
  • Discussing strategies for pain and fatigue management,
  • And making a plan to help them return to their normal hobbies, work and exercise including advice about how to return to exercise with a colostomy bag.

Returning to exercise is such an important part of recovery after bowel cancer, as research shows us that just 3 hours per week of moderate intensity exercise after a diagnosis of bowel cancer can reduce the risk of mortality by 39-59%.

If you’re not sure where to start, or need help getting back to the exercise you love, ask our Oncology Physio.

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