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TSIC Meets... Andrea Maude

Category: Health & Lifestyle
on 11 May 2017

TSIC are delighted to announce that they have become a PINC Cancer Rehabilitation Certified Clinic. We catch up with Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor, Andrea Maude to learn more about PINC.

First off Andrea, Congratulations on completing your PINC Physiotherapy Training. Can you tell us what PINC & STEEL is all about?

The PINC and STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Programs are dedicated to improving the strength, quality of life and sense of wellbeing in men, women and young people diagnosed with any type of cancer. The programs are delivered by a certified Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist and provide a full range of services designed to care, support and guide individuals through every stage of their treatment and recovery.

How did you come across them?

I was seeing clients who had previously gone through treatment for cancer and I wanted to understand more about the long term implications of surgery and treatment so I was in a better position to assist them. Most were not seeing me because of the effects of their treatment but I just felt I didn't know enough about the different surgeries and treatments so I started looking for ways to improve my knowledge in this area. I came across PINC.

What did the training involve?

The training was presented by the physiotherapist who set up the PINC and STEEL trust, Lou James, who has been something of a pioneer in this area for physios. There were also presentations by palliative care specialists, surgeons and cancer survivors who have taken part in various PINC and STEEL programs. I completed the PINC training so the focus was on cancers that more specifically affect women, the surgeries they may have and the follow up therapies; for example chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

Who can you help with your new knowledge?

Although I completed the PINC training, I feel that with the knowledge I have gained and the support of the other professionals in the PINC and STEEL community, I am in a position to be able to assist both men, women and young people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Understandably, most people who have been diagnosed with cancer may not seek the help of a physio or other allied health practitioner until after they have completed their adjunctive therapies. However, there is a significant body of evidence to suggest that staying active during these therapies can help in lessening many of the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy. We also know, as with any other surgery, that early movement can prevent secondary complications such as loss of strength and joint range. Of course the consent and advice of the specialist or surgeon would always be sought and adhered to before any exercise program or treatment was undertaken.

How will you keep on top of the latest research and findings to benefit your clients?

One of the benefits of being a part of the PINC and STEEL community is that you have access to the latest research on all things cancer related. In addition, there are physios and other health professionals all over the world who are linked together and are able to give advice or assistance regarding different treatments or a person's response to treatment. So in essence you not only have access to the person you are seeing but a wider community of professionals who are able and willing to help if needed.

What are you most looking forward to?

With advances in medical research and treatments we are seeing more and more people living longer and surviving a cancer diagnosis. This in itself is fantastic but I believe that quality of life is vital. So for me it is important to not just survive with a cancer diagnosis but to be able to achieve the best quality of life that you can and I hope that this is something that I can assist people to do. 

What should I do if I have been given a cancer diagnosis or I have a friend or family member who could use your help?

Call the clinic and either the reception staff or I can talk to you regarding the services we offer. If you are seeing your GP, oncology nurse or specialist, you can let them know that you are thinking of seeing a physio who has specialist training in cancer rehabilitation. There may be medical reasons why they may wish for you to delay coming in or there may be specific restrictions that are important to consider during treatment. However, it is not vital that you speak with them first, as with the client's consent, I would always make contact with the GP or oncology specialist after the first session.

Find out more about PINC & STEEL here: