Ep 143 Chaser – Oncology PT with Leslie Waltke


On Tap:

In this episode with Leslie Waltke, we learn about rehabilitation for cancer patients, how cancer survivors have tackled triathlons with Team Phoenix and why Leslie inadvertently increased the fall risk of pedestrians while in China.

Bio: Leslie Waltke, PT, DPT

Leslie received her degree in Physical Therapy from University of Wisconsin in 1988. Since then she has developed a clinical mastery in cancer rehabilitation, became Cancer Rehabilitation Coordinator at Aurora Health Care and is the founder and lead faculty at the Waltke Cancer Rehabilitation Academy. She has spent a majority of her career dedicated to treating the physiological, musculoskeletal, integumentary and functional needs of patients during and after treatment of earning international respect as an oncology physical therapist. Dr. Waltke is involved in many lectures domestically as well as internationally, speaking at the 2014 China Cancer Congress and the 2015 World Cancer Congress. She has recently been honored with the 2015 Academic Excellence and Leadership Award from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, the “Article of the Year Award” from the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews and the 2015 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education Recognition scholarship.




Episode 71 Shoutouts

Team Phoenix

[email protected]

When Breath Becomes Air

Aurora Sinai Medical Center

Episode 71 Highlights

(0:55) “We have a cancer-rehab gap”

(1:14) “One out of every two men in the US and one out of every three women in the US in their lifetime will be diagnosed with some kind of cancer.”

(2:25) “When did you find your way into oncology PT?”

(3:18) “We’ve learned that exercise is safe no matter how low somebody’s blood counts go, you’re going to have make modifications obviously…”

(3:53) How did you make rehab professionals feel confident in making cancer patients move?

(5:10) “Physical therapy in cancer care improves, lengthens, and saves lives”

(6:57) “Where are oncology physical therapists?”

(7:09) “Almost 70% of all cancer treatments are done on an outpatient basis?

(7:28) “Exercise: only evidence-based treatment for cancer related fatigue”

(11:10) Talk about your involvement with triathlons (Team Phoenix)

(12:15) “After six years of data, we estimate that 80% of our alumni are still exercising at or above the 150 minute recommendation of the American Cancer Society”

(14:35) Changing the mindset from exercise to training

(15:03) “Cancer takes away from people something that we in healthcare can’t give back to them… Team Phoenix gives people back their mojo”

(17:07) “Besides where you’ve already lived and practiced PT, where is somewhere in the U.S. that you’d always want to go and be a PT?”

(17:33) “What is something you are currently reading or have just read?”

(18:08) “Who is someone else in Physical Therapy that we should know more about?”

(20:12) Tell us about some of your experiences overseas.

(21:06) How are PTs expanding cancer oncology globably


“Persons after stroke, disease, accident orthopedic surgery are routinely ushered into physical therapy so why not are folks with cancer when they have the same problem list? Don’t think outside the box because your patient needs you to be a rehab therapist because no one else is taking care of their function or pain level, but you need to make your box bigger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *