What is new in the oncology rehab world...
CRA monthly news & updates
Highlights from the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association Conference!
Aerobic Exercise During Cancer Treatment
(Oncolink Packel, 2014)

(Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program)

  • Try to exercise at least 3 days per week during your treatment for cancer.
    • Start with 5 minutes, 2 times each day

    • When you can walk for 5 minutes, try to add two more minutes.

    • Keep adding a minute or two to your exercise time once a week until you are able to walk for 30 minutes at a time.

  • Moderate intensity exercise is recomended. What does moderate intensity mean? "You can talk through exercise but would have trouble singing through it."

Anti-anxiety Drugs may be impacting your balance.

Benzodiazepine drugs are commonly used during cancer to help with anxiety. 60% of people dealing with cancer treatment will experience anxiety. Be aware that benzodiazepine drugs (ex. Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin) may increase your risk for falls. If you are having balance issues during your cancer treatment talk to your medical team to see if oncology rehab may help.

Click here to learn more about oncology rehab at CRA
Longitudinal Impact of Yoga on Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Impairment and Quality of Life in Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer: A Case Series (Galantino, 2012)

This case series suggests that yoga may impact various aspects of cognition during and after chemotherapy administration as noted through quantitative measures. Women describe yoga as improving various domains of QOL through the treatment trajectory. This mind-body intervention may stave off chemotherapy related cognitive impairments.

Walking Improves Quality of Life in Patients with Advanced Cancer
(Tsianakas V, 2017)
"Patients with advanced cancer who walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week experience improved quality of life, a pilot study involving patients with advanced breast, prostate, gynecologic, or hematologic cancers has shown."

Read article here
What Impacts your Risk for Acquiring Lymphedema During Cancer Treatment?
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Higher stage of cancer
  • Increased number of lymph nodes removed
  • Radiation location

It is important to know signs of lymphedema and see your medical doctor if you notice any of the following in the region of your cancer treatment:

  • Swelling
  • Heaviness or Ache
  • Recurring Infections
  • Hardening and Thickening of the Skin 

— Exercise is important for your lymphatic system.

Lymph flow increases 5-fold in the first 15 minutes of exercise. (Moseley, 2008)

Click here to learn more about lymphedema treatment

Upcoming Workshops
Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Your Health
This presentation will:
  • Discuss the links between inflammation and cancer
  • The benefits of anti-inflammatory diets

When: April 8th 2:00-3:30 pm
Where: Cancer Rehab Austin

Presenter: Krystle Zuniga PhD, RD

Krystle Zuniga is an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition and Foods Program in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Bowling Green State University. She earned her doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Zuniga was a postdoctoral research associate in the Exercise Psychology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Illinois and is a Registered Dietitian.  Dr. Zuniga’s research interests include identifying how physical activity and nutrition may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and comorbidities such as cancer-related cognitive impairment.  She is currently conducting a research trial investigating the relationship between diet, cognitive function and inflammation in breast cancer survivors.

  • This presentation will focus on the concept of self-care and how we can prioritize it using wellness coaching tools.
  • We will learn to develop goals and how to use the practice of self-compassion as a way of improving self-care

When: May 6th 2:00-3:00 pm
Where: Cancer Rehab Austin


Kimberly Schuchman, RPh, CWC is a Registered Pharmacist and Certified Health and Wellness Coach.  She has been working at her private practice, Strong Self Wellness Coaching, since 2014. Her mission is to support and empower parents to prioritize and practice regular self-care, so they feel strong and energized.  

Writing About Emotional Experiences with
Dr. James Pennebaker 
In collaboration with the Breast Cancer Resource Center and Re:Cancer
World renowned researcher Dr. James Pennebaker presents on the topic of writing and it's impact on health and immune function.

Unexpected upheavals affect every part of our lives. Some issues, such as the diagnosis of cancer and other health issues, can be hard to talk about with others. Several studies over the last two decades have shown that putting emotions into words can promote physical and mental health. 

In this talk, Dr. James Pennebaker will talk about ways of thinking about and practicing expressive writing that improve health and immune function.

When:  June 9th 12:00-1:00 pm
Where:  Re:Cancer
55 North IH 35 Suite 235
Austin, TX 78702

Refreshments will be available starting at 11:30.

Bio—Dr. James W. Pennebaker
James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of a university-wide educational initiative called Project 2021 at The University of Texas at Austin. Pennebaker’s earliest work examined the psychology of physical symptoms. The symptom research ultimately led to his discovery of expressive writing which found that writing about emotional upheavals improved physical health and immune function. More recent studies have explored natural language. He finds that everyday word use is related to personality, deception, status, group dynamics, and emotional states. He is now working with his university’s senior administration to rethink 21 st century education models. Author or editor of 10 books and over 300 scientific articles, Pennebaker has received several university and international awards for his research and teaching. His most recent books are The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us (Bloomsbury, 2011) and Opening Up by Writing it Down (Guilford, 2016).
What is Oncology Rehab?
Meet our Oncology Rehab and Lymphedema Therapist

Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos PT, DPT, CLT- LANA is the ownercertified lymphedema therapist, and oncology physical therapist for Cancer Rehab Austin.

Angela has received the following degrees and certifications:

  • Doctorate of physical therapy from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
  • Master's of physical therapy from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
  • Bachelor's of science in kinesiology from The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Bachelor's of science in allied health sciences from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
  • Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) certified lymphedema therapist.
  • Lymphology Association of North America(LANA) certified lymphedema therapist.
  • Survivorship training and rehabilitation (STAR) program from 2012–2015.
  • Physiological Oncology Rehabilitation Institute (PORi) oncology rehab certification.
  • Training through the APTA on Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
  • Advanced training in head/neck and genital lymphedema treatments.
Acupuncture for Cancer Pain and Related Symptoms
(Article abstract: Lu W, Rosenthal DS,  2013))

Cancer pain is one of most prevalent symptoms in patients with cancer. Acupuncture and related techniques have been suggested for the management of cancer pain. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN®) guidelines for adult cancer pain recommends acupuncture, as one of integrative interventions, in conjunction with pharmacologic intervention as needed. This review presents the latest available evidence regarding the use of acupuncture for cancer pain. It also provides “actionable” acupuncture protocols for specific cancer pain conditions and related symptoms in order to provide more clinically relevant solutions for clinicians and cancer patients with pain. These conditions include postoperative cancer pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting, postsurgical gastroparesis syndrome, opioid-induced constipation, opioid-induced pruritus, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, aromatase inhibitor-associated joint pain, and neck dissection-related pain and dysfunction.

Join us in congratulating our massage therapist Geri Ruane for being inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame!!!

Our Dietician Krystle Needs Your Help!
Licensed Dietitian and Researcher at Texas State University, Krystle Zuniga needs volunteers for her study.
Her research study is investigating the association between diet and brain function after cancer treatment in older cancer survivors. They are recruiting cancer survivors (diagnosed at >60 yrs
old) within 5 years of completing treatment (chemo and/or radiation). Participants make one 80 minute visit to a site in Central Austin or at Texas State University in San Marcos (whichever is most convenient). Parking is free and participants receive the results of the assessments.

Cancer survivors who have participated in their previous research have told us that they enjoyed the experience and appreciated the feedback
we provide on their diet quality and cognitive function. Most importantly, our participants have valued the experience to participate in research on an important problem that has impacted their quality of life after treatment.

If you would like to participate contact Krystle Zuniga, PhD, RD at k_z17@txstate.edu or 512-245-3786.
To all healthcare practitioners!
Do you have a patient that is in need of immediate rehab treatment?

When dealing with issues such as lymphedema, pain, weakness, axillary web syndrome and restrictions in motion, receiving treatment quickly is imperative to acquire the best patient outcomes and quality of life.

We guarantee your patient will be seen by our oncology rehab therapist / lymphedema therapist within 1-2 weeks of receiving a script. 

You may fax your scripts to: 512-524-0936

Want to Help CRA Grow?
We would love your help!
Some ways you can help:
  • Let your medical practitioners know about us at your next follow up appointment. 

  • Tell others in your cancer support community that we are here to help.

  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share posts that you find interesting or informative.

  • If you have received treatment at CRA we would appreciate a review on Yelp or Google. People rely on reviews to find quality care and practitioners they can trust.

    We are so blessed to be in such an amazing Austin community. We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to make a difference one patient at a time.

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