Cancer (Oncology) Physical Therapy and Lymphedema

Oncology Physical Therapy

Oncology physical therapy is an integral component of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital's multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. Our physical therapists have specialized training in post-surgical and post-treatment effects on function, motion, scar tissue, lymphedema and balance.

Through the use of highly personalized treatment sessions, our therapists can:

  • Prevent and reduce cancer-related fatigue and pain
  • Increase muscle mass, strength and endurance
  • Restore balance, functional daily activities
  • Protect against common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
  • Manage weight and lymphedema
  • Regain shoulder range of motion following breast cancer surgery
  • Improve overall quality of life and physical fitness

All Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital oncology therapists are certified lymphedema therapists. For more information, contact the Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Oncology Rehabilitation Team at 847.535.6520.



Lymphedema, the swelling of an arm, leg or other body part caused by the accumulation of lymph fluid, is a common post-cancer surgery or post-radiation occurrence in women and men. It can manifest itself in tissue swelling, skin changes, increased risk for chronic infections and slowing of tissue healing.

Our certified lymphedema therapists implement Complete Decongestive Therapy, a non-invasive and painless therapy that includes:

  • Compression bandages between treatments to prevent the fluid from re-accumulating
  • Exercise with bandaging to increase tissue pressure and movement of lymph fluid
  • Manual lymph drainage to reroute lymph fluid around blocked areas
  • Skin care to decrease risk of infections


For a therapy appointment at any Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital location, please call Patient Scheduling at 847.535.8000. Please email any questions you have to

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Request a Rehabilitative Services Appointment

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We offer a variety of appointment times to best fit our patients' busy schedules. Please call to determine the best appointment time for you.

Rehabilitative Services
Lake Forest