Management of uro-genital cancer (SEM-08)

Role of physiotherapy in the prevention and management of uro-genital cancer


Breast and prostate cancer are among the most common types of cancer world-wide; additionally cervix cancer in the developing world. Cancer and its associated curative therapies may result in a range of physical and psychological sequelae including pain, fatigue, impaired cognition, peripheral neuropathies, increased body fat, decreased muscles mass, reduced bone strength and lymphedema. These side effects can be particularly devastating for hidden symptoms related to pelvic floor function, such as sexual dysfunction and incontinence. Cancer rehabilitation, throughout the cancer care continuum and into survivorship may reduce many of the side effects of cancer treatment. In particular, exercise programmes have been shown to improve quality of life, physical functioning and aerobic exercise capacity, and reduce fatigue levels. Exercise programs may also reduce rates of disease recurrence and mortality. However, only 10% follow the recommendations on physical activity and exercises. Barriers to exercise such as side-effects of treatments, lack of time and motivation as well as uncertainty about how to exercise will be discussed. In the seminar, we will give an overview on the role of cancer rehabilitation for patients from diagnosis into survivorship, emphasising the role of exercise throughout the cancer continuum. The presentations will address global and specific aspects of physiotherapy aiming at pelvic floor rehabilitation and its levels of scientific evidence to improve urinary incontinence, anal incontinence and sexual dysfunctions with an emphasis on vaginal stenosis in women and physiotherapy protocols for pre-operative pelvic floor muscle training to ease incontinence and impotence in men.


  1. To describe cancer rehabilitation interventions in uro-genital disorders that assist people with cancer to optimise their functional abilities and tolerance to care
  2. To gain an improved understanding of the role of exercise as prevention for cancer and in cancer rehabilitation, including the evidence base supporting the implementation of exercise into clinical practice
  3. To gain insights in the need of development and further research within physiotherapy in uro-genital disorders

Back to the listing