CEERRF’s Recent Graduate, Elisa Martin Alonzo, Shines at AKTL Congress
The French Association of Massage Therapists for Lympho-Vascular Disorders (AKTL), is dedicated to researching and treating issues related to veins and lymphatic vessels, with a particular focus on breast cancer and its consequences. They create specialized publications and treatment methods to assist patients throughout their healthcare journey. AKTL plays an active role as a founding member of the National Professional Council of Physical Therapy, collaborating with the High Health Authority.
Recently, AKTL organized a congress focusing on the evolution of breast cancer treatment and senological physiotherapy. Healthcare professionals gathered to discuss medical and surgical advancements, including surgery, radiotherapy, and breast reconstruction, all aimed at achieving better results.
The congress program provided a comprehensive perspective on the treatment and rehabilitation of breast cancer patients. The medical-surgical session covered various topics, including senological physiotherapy research, featuring the participation of teacher Pierre-Henri Ganchou. Updates on surgery, radiotherapy, and breast reconstructions were presented by multiple speakers. The congress also explored pre and postoperative rehabilitation, examining the importance of preoperative physiotherapy assessments and comparing upper limb function before and after breast cancer surgery.
In the section dedicated to delayed rehabilitation, the congress delved into lymphedema, the effects of treatments on the skin, posture, and movement. Elisa Martin Alonzo, a recent CEERRF graduate, discussed the use of smartphones in managing lymphedema and presented her project, LymphoDay, which secured the second place in the thesis competition held at Charles University in Prague and organized by ENPHE last month.
The congress concluded by addressing life after breast cancer, emphasizing aspects such as physical activity, physiotherapy ethics, the role of the physiotherapist in a multidisciplinary approach, and the importance of AKTL and the Network of Breast Physiotherapists (RKS), for the well-being of patients. Finally, the event underscored the importance of collaboration between learned societies like AKTL and networks such as RKS in advancing modern senological physiotherapy.
Testimonial by Elisa about her participation in the congress
I had the privilege of participating in the AKTL congress focusing on senological physiotherapy practices. My thesis project revolved around creating a self-care program for women suffering from secondary lymphedema due to their breast cancer treatment. I received excellent guidance from my thesis advisors, Jeanne Vanmairis and Pierre-Henri Ganchou, throughout the year. The future perspective is to implement the results of this research in a mobile application to conduct a subsequent study. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of the self-care offered to patients, avoiding subjecting them to cumbersome and costly treatments and tailoring them to their clinical signs. This project piqued Mr. Ganchou’s interest, who guided me in this research and proposed that I present my results at the AKTL congress. Expressing my views and positioning myself on different treatments in front of a professional audience was a new challenge. I emerge from this experience with greater knowledge, highlighting the importance of evidence base practice (EBP), in our profession to continually bring innovation. CEERRF, with its teaching methodology, including oral expression, equips us, as future healthcare professionals, to express ourselves, debate, and argue on scientific matters.