1. Lewis, Carole B. PhD, PT, GCS, MSG, MPA, Editor

Article Content

Improvements and advances in the treatment of cancer have increased dramatically in the last several decades. It is inspiring to see the commitment and improvement of the allied health team and the contribution of new evidence-based studies put forth to show our evolving and important role in this area.


As a student in physical therapy almost 30 years ago, I cannot remember a lecture let alone a reading assignment or course related to this topic. Yet when I worked on my affiliations and began to work as a clinician, I was called upon to evaluate, design, and implement treatment programs for person with multiple types of cancer. How horribly unprepared I felt. I was unsure of many aspects of the therapeutic process. How far should I push in an initial evaluation? How appropriate were various measures of impairment? Were there any functional tools available that were appropriate and specific for this population? What are some special considerations of the healthcare team in this area? Is exercise a good idea and if so which kinds, how much, and how should I monitor giving this exercise? The whole area of psychosocial and wellness issues remained unspoken for the rehabilitation team. Finally, an area such as lymphedema had minimal treatment options and evaluation strategies available to the rehabilitation professional.


I love to see when our professions grow. We have grown in our knowledge and competence in treating patients with cancer. Dr Rinehart-Ayres has done a beautiful job identifying some of the top experts in the field to address all of the above-noted issues. The authors have succinctly described the newest approaches to the patient with cancer in a compassionate and enriching way. I found it a pleasure to read the manuscripts. I thank Dr Rinehart-Ayres and all the authors of this issue for providing the readership with an extremely useful compendium in the area of issues related to the treatment of older population with cancer.