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Cancer 'prehab' may provide better post-op outcomes

Patients with head and neck cancer learn swallowing exercises. Those with breast cancer work on arm strength and range of motion, and prostate cancer sufferers build pelvic area muscles to control incontinence.

These physical therapy exercises, all practiced before surgery, are the latest in rehabilitative care. Known as "prehabilitation" or "prehab," the exercises are done to prepare patients physically and emotionally for surgical procedures that can impair muscle movements or other abilities.

While prehab has only recently been prescribed to some cancer patients, and promoters acknowledge that it needs more...