What is new in the oncology rehab and integrative medicine world...
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CRA's Upcoming Workshops
How to Manage Your Financial and Medical Affairs During a Time of Crisis

Legal aspects of illness: At some point in your life either through illness or aging you may, even temporarily, be incapable of making legal, financial or medical decisions for yourself. There are ways to prepare for those situations that will save you time, money and reduce your stress.

When: August  26th 2:00-3:30 pm
Where: Cancer Rehab Austin

Presenter Bio:

Virginia Sampson has been an attorney for 35 years. For most of her career she was a litigation attorney. She served several years as a judge. She currently practices law in Austin helping her clients to plan and prepare for a crisis and/or the aging process. She shifted the focus of her practice to help clients preparing for or facing a crisis as a result of her experiences helping her own parents, She prepares powers of attorney documents, Wills,Trusts, etc. and helps clients find ways to pay for long term care. She is accredited with the Veterans Administration to handle VA claims.

 Spirituality and Cancer Care:  The Importance of Connection in Healing

Spirituality is a journey toward connection with the source of ultimate meaning.  We will explore how spirituality during cancer treatment and survivorship improves recovery, resilience, coping, relationships, overall well-being and quality of life, and even lengthens lifespan.

When: September 9 th 2:00-3:30 pm
Where: Cancer Rehab Austin

Presenters Bio:

Dr. Matthew McCurdy is a Radiation Oncologist and Integrative Oncologist and treats all types of cancer. Dr. McCurdy is trained in integrative medicine, and he incorporates mind, body and spirit in the healing process.  He works closely with practitioners to bring wellness using complimentary therapies such as nutrition, physical activity, yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.  Dr. McCurdy is a former NASA engineer and received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and PhD in Bioengineering from Rice University through the MD/PhD program.

Integrative Medicine in Cancer Survivors:
Paul V. Viscusea, Katharine Priceb, Denise Millstinec, et. al.
Current Opinion Oncology,  2017

Cancer survivors often experience side effects to treatment that can significantly impact their quality of life (e.g. fatigue, pain, fear of recurrence, and stress). Integrative medicines including mind-body modalities, acupuncture and massage therapy along with wellness practices such as physical activity and diet play a role in managing physical and emotional issues common in those individuals dealing with cancer. 

Article's Key Points:

  • Common concerns during and after cancer treatment include "fatigue, pain, neuropathy, lymphedema, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, cognitive dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, psychological distress, and fear of recurrence."

  • "Integrative Medicine and wellness practices boost the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of a person" 

  • There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of these integrative practices in the cancer population. (However further studies are needed)

  • There is a strong correlation between physical activity and improved quality of life. 

Highlights from Dr. Fisher's Seminar
"The Breast Cancer Journey: Surgical Treatment, Reconstruction, and Recovery." 

Education is Key in Lymphedema Care
-Written by Christine Maynard, Medical Journalist and Patient Advocate-

In a recent lymphatics presentation by Christine Fisher, M.D., participants gleaned answers that many had sought from specialist after specialist with little or no success. She provided a clear understanding of what lymph looks like, what helps and what impedes its flow, and what can be done to support one’s lymphatic system.

Lymphatics that are damaged from radiation and/or trauma impair immunity because they limit white blood cells’ ability to reach invasive bacteria. When lymph cannot flow properly, swelling results. There are modalities of treatment, and surgeries to address damaged lymphatics.

Dr. Fisher provided an overview of lymph transfer surgery.  She shared “east” vs. “west” beliefs; to generalize, Asian surgeons embrace the stump theory, believing that the implanted lymph tissue soaks up chyle, (lymph fluid,) like stumps, while European surgeons espouse the bulb theory…over time, from one (trans)plant many can grow.

Dr. Fisher studied lymph node transfer and anastomies (reconnecting lymphatic channels and bypassing damaged lymph) in Paris with Dr. Corinne Becker, a pioneer in her field.  She is deeply involved in research and communication with other lymphatic surgeons around the world. Her willingness to bring medical knowledge out of the “vaults,” to lay persons seeking knowledge is a paradigm shift that is desperately needed. Education is key in effecting positive change. Read Entire Article Here

-Christine Maynard, medical journalist

In the news:
PT Helps Women Battle Breast Cancer
WTVR-TV  Report

"Donna Shell never thought she would get to the point where she could exercise while battling breast cancer. Shell, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2014. She had a lumpectomy and then radiation. After doing an MRI, doctors discovered the cancer had spread to her bones. "I couldn't walk after the surgery (lumpectomy). I was in excruciating pain," she said. "You're just so depressed. Cancer is a bummer." Despite her pain, her doctor referred her to physical therapy." See video here

Solstice, Summer, and Stubble:
by   Emily Strong from I Em Strong

Two years ago today, I was wrapping up the end of my sixth year as a school psych. I had completed two chemo treatments. I had shaved my head but I wasn’t totally bald. Yet. Still stubbly. This was the summa that I was super into a legit morning ritual. And super into self love. And super into naps. Well. And. There was the chemo. Bleh. So def naps.  

 Every morning :

  •  Yoga
  • Coffee
  • Chill in turquoise rocker on back porch
  • Listen to the birds
  • Read
  • Journal
  • Write thank you cards (stuffed with a You Are Beautiful sticker)
  • Maybe color
  • Wog aka walk jog
    • Sometimes wance aka walk dance.
      • I can’t help it peeps. Whitney and Mariah just bring out the dance parT in me. T Swift was high up there that summer too. Who doesn’t want to shake it off?
    • Sometimes the bust out in song in me too.
      • You’re welcome neighbors. You’re welcome.

In between, I’ve disentangled from a significant romantic relationship, left school psych-ing, spent some time in corporate America, and four of the peeps I love the most in the world have moved from living 13 miles away from me to living in the woods, 1,924 miles away from me.

 And now. Right now. Here. This morning.

I’m grateful to have my morning ritual be the greatest imprint in my memory of two years ago. Of where I was. My boob and ridding unhealthy cells : the reasons that led me to creating my new and improved self love ritual (and then remembering to return to it when I fall off) are less present.

I remember gratitude for life. Not fear of death.

I remember strength not weakness. (Several months later my soul sista would tell me during our lunch date: you are “I Em Strong.” I bought iemstrong.com later that day. I remember promise. I remember trust. I just had this feeling deep down that every thang was going to be a-ok.

Services Offered at CRA
Oncology Physical Therapy

Oncology physical therapy addresses impairments associated with cancer treatment, related to:


  • Strength and range of motion

  • Balance and gait training

  • Scar and tissue tightness and restriction

  • Pain, endurance, balance issues and fatigue

  • Axillary web syndrome (cording)

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence

We also offer: 

  • Pre-operative mobility assessment

  • Post-operative mobility assessment

  • Individualized post-operative exercise programs

Contact our oncology rehab physical therapist Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos PT, CLT-LANA to schedule a session.  (Click here for more info)

(512) 524-0964

Lymphedema Treatment

During cancer treatment a person’s lymphatic system can be compromised, which can lead to lymphedema.

Signs of lymphedema may include the following symptoms in the areas of and around where you were treated for cancer:

  • A heavy or achy feeling
  • A tightness or decreased flexibility in the joints and surrounding tissues
  • Noticeable swelling 
  • Pain, numbness or tingling

(If you are experiencing any of these symptoms follow up with a medical doctor on your team immediately.)

Contact our certified lymphedema therapist Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos PT, CLT-LANA to schedule treatment.  (Click here for more info)

(512) 524-0964


Acupuncture as an adjunct to standard oncology therapies can be effective in treating conditions such as:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Chemo Induced Neuropathy
  • Hot Flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Delayed Wound Healing
  • Immune Support
  • Axillary Web Syndrome (cording)

Dr. Agnes Nowakowski L.AC (TX), MACOM, DIPLOM, DOM (FL) is CRA's acupuncturist. (Click here for more info)

Contact Agnes to schedule an appointment:

(512) 731-2462


Massage Therapy

Oncology massage is designed to meet the unique needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer treatment. An individually tailored session with an oncology-trained massage therapist can yield benefits for nearly all persons affected by cancer. Its benefits include:
  • Reduced pain
  • Decreased anxiety and stress
  • Relief from nausea
  • Diminished peripheral neuropathy
  • Less swelling
  • Increased energy, less fatigue
  • Improved quality of life and sense of well-being

Our massage therapy team consists of:

Geri Ruane LMT, OMT, CLT and Ashley Hiatt LMT, OMT, CMLDT. (Click here for more info)

Yoga Therapy

CRA offers private yoga sessions taught by Kimberly Wharton. 

Yoga can be beneficial for those undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment for the following reasons:

  • Decreases anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Improves flexibility and strength
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Improved lymphatic circulation

Schedule today with Kimberly:

(323) 363-3050


(Click here for more info)

Free Nutritional Consults

Free nutrition consultations are offered at by Dr. Krystle Zuniga Phd, RD.  (Click here for more info)

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Krystle Zuniga at: kezuniga@gmail.com.

Cancer Rehab Austin | Phone: 512-524-0964 | Fax: 512-524-0936 
email: angela@cancerrehabaustin.com| Website: www.cancerrehabaustin.com