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Patient recovers from testicular cancer, builds strength, endurance

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

Patient recovers from testicular cancer, builds strength, endurance

Treatment is one aspect of healing; physical therapy helps add to quality of life.

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist,

In August of 2022, Danny Fields was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He found a lump in his groin and followed up with a physical. That resulted in a biopsy, surgery and three cycles of chemotherapy.

Fields was in the care of Dr. Lawrence Einhorn and Dr. Clint Cary, and received the news that he was in remission three months after his diagnosis.

He was finished with treatment; but Fields wasn’t finished with recovery. At 29, he is back at work but still tires easily. Before his diagnosis he was physically active.

“During treatment I wasn’t in the right mental state to work out. I wasn’t motivated,” said Fields. Now that’s changing. He’s working alongside Danielle Halsey, an exercise physiologist with the Multidisciplinary Oncology Vitality and Exercise (MOVE) Program at IU Health Simon Cancer Center. MOVE was initiated by Dr. Tarah Ballinger as a way to bring together a group of likeminded healthcare professionals from various disciplines to meet specific patient needs. The goal is to offer supportive oncology services as part of every patient’s journey through survivorship. Physical therapy is one of those services.

Patients are given a plan that includes aerobic exercise, resistance and strength training. The benefits of strength training include, reducing fatigue, improving physical function, and improving bone health.

Studies indicate that up to 90 percent of patients treated with radiation therapy and up to 80 percent of those treated with chemotherapy experience fatigue. The National Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCN) recommends exercise as one of the most effective non-pharmacologic interventions for patients treated for cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends people undergoing cancer treatment, and cancer survivors, perform consistent physical exercise to decrease fatigue, and improve the ability to perform normal daily activities. Studies show that exercise can improve an individual’s chances of surviving cancer. Physical therapists design individualized exercise and treatment programs to reduce or prevent many cancer-related problems.

The program recently moved to a new space in the cancer center pavilion. Last year, the program saw 298 patient referrals, with an average of 59 gym visits monthly. In addition to in-person programs, MOVE offers virtual exercise groups. Thirteen “graduates” have completed 36 in-person gym sessions. For more information: IUMOVE@iupui.ed. or 317-278-1415.

For Fields, the physical therapy is one step closer to full recovery.

“He lost a lot of core strength from surgery and we’re working on endurance and improving his quality of life because he still has a lot of life left,” said Halsey,



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