Faculty Advisor(s)

Brian T. Swanson

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Kristin O'Kelly


Background and purpose: The National Cancer Institute reports that approximately 39.6% of individuals will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Due to the large percentage of Americans affected each year, multiple studies have looked at the long-term effects of cancer treatment and survivorship on physical function. Studies have demonstrated that over half of cancer survivors age 55 and over have fallen in the past year, possibly as a result of treatment and subsequent muscle weakness, difficulty with balance, and impaired walking. The purpose of this case report was to detail interventions aimed at these modifiable factors in a patient status post cancer treatment. Case description: The patient was a 76 year old female with a history of endometrial cancer, who participated in a total of 12 days of skilled PT services for an hour each day to address limitations in strength, balance, and aerobic capacity. Functional mobility and fall risk were assessed via six-minute walk test (6-MWT), initial score 107 feet, and Berg balance scale (BBS), initial score 31/56. Further interventions would have been preferred, but patient stay was shortened secondary to insurance denial. Outcomes: Following 12 days of PT services, the patient’s functional mobility improved as assessed by an increased walking distance of 517 feet on the 6-MWT and decreased fall risk assessed by the BBS of 43/56. Discussion: This case report demonstrated that by addressing three modifiable risk factors associated with increased fall risk in cancer survivors, the patient saw improvements in functional mobility and fall risk.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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