Cancer Rehabilitation for Ambulatory Older Adults

presented by Anna L. Schwartz

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This course focuses on transitioning the older adult cancer survivor back to a functional lifestyle. Join us as we provide relevant information to using a restorative approach to recovery and a better understanding of issues specific to older adult cancer survivors in an ambulatory setting. You’ll be able to advance a restorative program for older adult cancer survivors who are medically stable. Be able to distinguish physical constraints to certain exercises and how to adapt them to a program. Following completion, you’ll be able to implement strategies to develop a restorative program.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Anna L. Schwartz, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN

    Anna L. Schwartz, PhD, FNP, FAAN is a world-renowned pioneer in cancer and physical activity. She is a board certified family nurse practitioner with specialization in oncology and is a member of the American Academy of Nursing. She co-chaired the American College of Sports Medicine’s roundtable to develop exercise guidelines for cancer survivors and is a member of the American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activity board. Schwartz is the author of four books and over a hundred scholarly articles on physical activity for cancer survivors. Anna’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Oncology Nursing Foundation, and industry. Anna has received numerous awards from national organizations, including the 2012 Rose Mary Carol Johnson Oncology Nursing Society award for writing. She is the author of Cancer Fitness: Exercise Programs for Patients and Survivors (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Her new book, Okie the Wonder Dog (Sunstone Press, 2016), blends her passion for physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle with her knack for telling stories from her animal’s perspective. Her website,, has links to articles, educational information and more.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Overview of Cancer

    1. Overview of Cancer

    This chapter will give the learner a general understanding of common cancers and their treatment regimens and acute and long term side effects. We'll also gather relevant cancer-specific history to tailor a rehabilitation program. Finally, we'll finish by thinking about what you should talk about with your patient.

  2. Cancer Treatments and Restorative Implications

    2. Cancer Treatments and Restorative Implications

    Many treatments cause unique side effects. Side effects of treatment in relation to developing an exercise program will be reviewed as well as special considerations for adapting exercise for the older adult cancer survivor. We'll discuss the side effects of common chemotherapy drugs, examine the impact of acute and long-term treatment side effects on functionality, and list common concerns or risks.

  3. Adapting a Restorative Program

    3. Adapting a Restorative Program

    In this chapter, the learner will be able to apply knowledge of cancer, cancer treatment, and common side effects to develop a restorative program that is tailored to the individual needs of adult cancer survivors. We'll review how certain chemotherapeutic agents may influence balance, strength, cardiopulmonary function, and how to adapt a program for that patient. Identify reasonable restorative goals within the cancer survivor's ability, and develop a plan for initiating a restorative exercise program. We'll wrap up our course with a question and answer session.