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Physical Therapy for Cancer

Physical Therapy for Cancer: Available at ALL STAR Locations

Physical therapy does not directly treat cancer. Instead, it provides relief from treatment complications and helps you recover afterward.

We care for all stages of cancer, helping you not just meet your responsibilities but also do the things you enjoy — working, traveling, playing sports and participating in many other activities.

Why Choose STAR Physical Therapy for Cancer?

Our therapists often work with an active population, so they have high expectations for you. We want you to be the best you can at the moment, whether you are undergoing cancer treatment or have finished. Our program offers:

  • Experienced specialists: Our therapists have years of experience helping people with cancer and its complications. Many continue to take courses to refine their skills. We can handle challenging cases, including severe pain and surgeries that did not provide expected results.
  • One-on-one help: During your sessions, your therapist spends the whole time with you. They do not try to help multiple people simultaneously.
  • Uplifting environment: While we have a partnership with Washington University physicians and the Siteman Cancer Centers near us, we are not a cancer clinic. We treat people for a variety of issues, including sports injuries. Many people have told us this active mix helps them feel normal again. We strive for a warm and welcoming environment.    
  • Close partnership with doctors: We work closely with your referring doctor to determine which exercises and movements are appropriate for you and which are not. We never do anything to interfere with your cancer treatment or reduce your function. Quite the opposite — we want to help you identify the best ways to move and to return to activities.

Learn more about the benefits of choosing STAR sports therapy and physical therapy.

Cancers and Related Conditions We See at STAR

We care for people with a range of cancers and related conditions, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Fatigue and deconditioning
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Lymphedema in women and men (learn more about our lymphedema treatment)

When Is Physical Therapy Right for Cancer?

We can provide physical therapy throughout cancer treatment and beyond, whenever you and your doctor think it will help:

  • Active treatment: We provide tools to help you manage daily life and achieve the highest function possible while you receive treatment for cancer. We help you remain independent, take care of your family, return to work and resume your passions.
  • Terminal cancer: We can help as you continue treatment through the months and even years. We work with you on ways to care for yourself at home and to perform daily activities with the least amount of pain. We also work with you on goals you still want to achieve: furthering hobbies, spending time with family or taking a big trip, for example.
  • End of life: We work with you and your loved ones to make life as comfortable as possible. We have helped people right up to hospice and are expert problem-solvers for tasks like getting up the stairs or in and out of bed. We can also help you decide if physical therapy is worth your remaining energy.
  • Survivors: We help you regain previous levels of function and achieve particular goals, whether it is resuming running or biking or returning to a physically demanding job. We create a tailored exercise plan that you can follow at home.

Breast Cancer Recovery

Even successful breast cancer treatment can leave you with complications. We provide the full range of services you need to free you from any swelling, scarring or movement restrictions.

We create tailored plans that may include:  

  • Help after mastectomy or post-surgical augmentation:
    • Arm strengthening
    • Lymphedema therapy
    • Range of motion restoration
    • Scar tissue massage and release
  • Relief from treatment triggering menopause-like symptoms, such as vaginal dryness (learn more about pelvic pain and incontinence)

Fatigue and Deconditioning Management

Many people undergoing cancer treatment experience fatigue as a side effect of radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other medications. The disease or its treatment can also harm your physical conditioning.

Our therapists can help in a wide range of situations, including with:

  • Loss of flexibility: People with cancer may remain immobile for long periods, causing them to lose their flexibility. We help with a stretching and flexibility program, making walking, standing and transfers, such as getting out of a car, much easier.
  • Lower strength and endurance: We help you regain as much strength and endurance as possible. We may also suggest ways to temporarily restructure your day or adjust the tasks you have to do to limit physical strain.
  • No energy: You may find yourself too fatigued to do what you need to each day, particularly if you never exercised before. We provide ideas for simple exercises to improve strength, endurance and core stabilization. Many people notice significant improvement.

Contact Us

To learn more about our services or make an appointment, please call a STAR location:

  • Chesterfield — Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Orthopedic Center: 314.514.3636
  • Creve Coeur — Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital: 314.996.3050
  • South County — Center for Advanced Medicine: 314.286.1000


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Find a doctor or make an appointment: 314.542.WEST (9378) OR TOLL-FREE 1.844.542.9378
General Information: (314) 996.8000
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Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141
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