Improving Quality of Life

Cancer Care

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29 Bayswater Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 2E5

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Physiotherapy is a drug-free health care practice which helps individuals of all ages to break down barriers to physical function.

For patients at the OICC, these barriers are most often the result of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Physiotherapy is often used by those suffering from pain, decreased joint mobility, muscle weakness and respiratory issues. It also plays an important role in overcoming cancer-related fatigue, as well as health promotion and cancer prevention.

What to expect during physiotherapy

After the initial physiotherapy assessment, specific goals are set and the physiotherapist will make a treatment plan specific to the patient’s needs in order to achieve these goals. For those seeking pre-operative advice, they may only need to see the therapist once in order to discuss surgery, expectations and recommended exercises. Others may require intensive physiotherapy to physically prepare for their upcoming surgery or cancer treatment in order to minimize potential complications (visits may vary from once per week to everyday depending on the case). Other patients may seek relief of cancer-related fatigue, pain, loss of mobility and other side effects, in which case, the physiotherapist will see them more frequently in the initial weeks. This may include setting-up a home-based exercise program, educating them regarding daily routine, and supervising an exercise routine.

Sarah Butler, PT


Sarah is a registered physiotherapist with supplemental training in cancer rehabilitation.  She earned her Master's degree in Physical Therapy at Queen’s University.  Prior to that, she received a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa and a Master of Science in Neuroscience at McGill University.

She began her career in long-term care and hospital settings which led her to develop an interest in oncology.  Sarah has pursued post-graduate education in Acupuncture, Myofascial Release, CranioSacral Therapy as well as cardiorespiratory physiotherapy to better provide whole-person care to her patients. She is currently studying to become a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in order to safely and effectively treat those with lymphedema through manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, individualized exercise prescription and self-care education.

Sarah can help patients in any stage of their cancer journey through restorative, supportive, preventative or palliative interventions.  Physiotherapy can help to improve treatment outcomes and manage pain and cancer-related fatigue.  She is passionate about improving the ability of the patient/family to cope with the effects of cancer and/or its treatment on their functional capacity and quality of life.