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Ashburn Cancer Rehab Staff Trained in Breast Cancer Exercise

Onc Rehab's Cheryl Guarna, Arch Cox & Terry Drew
Onc Rehab's Cheryl Guarna, Arch Cox & Terry Drew

Oncology Rehab and Wellness Resources Physical Therapist Cheryl Guarna and Personal Trainers Terry Drew and Arch Cox were recently trained in PALS for Life, the only research-based exercise program for breast cancer survivors. The program provides breast cancer exercise training and education to physical therapists, personal trainers, and other qualified exercise professionals. Upon completion, PALS trained professionals are adept to create safe and effective exercise programs for breast cancer survivors.

PALS for LIfe is based on the PAL (Physical Activity and Lymphedema) Trial protocol conducted at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center in 2009. The study looked at the impact of weight training on  lymphedema in 295 breast cancer survivors. Lymphedema is the result of damaged or surgically removed lymph nodes and causes abnormal buildup of high protein fluids in the extremities. Up to 40 percent of cancer patients develop lymphedema, sometimes years after treatment ends. Findings of the PAL Trial included a 50 percent reduction in the lymphedema worsening; a 70 percent reduction in the likelihood of arm swelling increases in women who had five or more lymph nodes removed; improved strength and body image; and a reduction in body fat.

And while the trial determined that progressive weight training is safe for breast cancer survivors, it also suggests that it should be done under the “close supervision of trainers or therapists schooled in the PAL Protocol.” Oncology Rehab and Wellness Resources is the only clinic in the region with PALS-trained professionals.

“We work  only with adult cancer survivors here at our clinic,” said Guarna, Oncology Rehab and Wellness founder and lead clinician. “So we are obligated to stay current on cancer-specific certifications to ensure our rehab patients and personal training clients obtain the best outcomes possible.”

In addition to PALS training, Cheryl Guarna has a Master’s in Physical Therapy (MPT), is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) and is STAR/C Certified. STAR/C certification is a nationally recognized cancer survivorship certification that focuses on the physical and emotional rehabilitation of cancer patients and cancer survivors. Both Arch Cox and Terry Drew are certified personal trainers and Cancer Exercise Specialists (CES).

Oncology Rehab and Wellness Resources is the only cancer-specific rehabilitation clinic in the region treating adults who have been diagnosed with cancer and in all phases of treatment, recovery and survivorship. They are located in Ashburn, VA and are on the web atwww.oncrehabandwellness.com

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