Saturday, March 24, 2018

Healthy Athletes at the Special Olympics

Elizabeth Cendan of Garden City, NY most recently served as a women’s health physical therapist at the Rusk Institute of the NYU Langone Medical Center. During the course of her career, Elizabeth (Liz) Cendan has also worked in pediatric, outpatient, and acute care settings. In addition to her professional pursuits, Dr. Cendan has volunteered with the Special Olympics.

Each year, 4.9 million athletes with intellectual disabilities participate in Special Olympics competitions around the world. In addition to raising awareness about issues related to such disabilities, the games help individuals experience success, grow in confidence, and discover new abilities.

The Special Olympics relies heavily on volunteers for the success of their programs. The organization recruits coaches, trainers, officials, organizers, and fundraisers. Medical professionals are also a central part of the organization. To improve relevant medical care, the Special Olympics launched an initiative called Healthy Athletes. The program brings high-quality medical screenings to venues around the world. To date, nearly 2 million screenings have been provided.

Health examinations are offered in such areas as podiatry, physical therapy, vision, and dentistry. Prior to each clinic, volunteers are given specialized training related to the specific health needs.

To donate or learn more about the Special Olympics, please click here:

Friday, March 9, 2018

About the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

Elizabeth (“Liz”) Cendan, DPT, has over a decade of experience as a physical therapist. Most recently, Elizabeth Cendan treated patients at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Health.

Located in New York City, the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine maintains a dual focus on providing care to people with disabilities and conducting research in the field of rehabilitation medicine. The institute holds distinction as one of the top-rated rehabilitation programs in the United States and one of the largest centers of its kind in the world.

Widely recognized for his groundbreaking work in the field of rehabilitation medicine, Dr. Howard A. Rusk instilled a holistic philosophy of care to which the institute, which he established in 1948, subscribes to this day.

Rusk operates as part of the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. Along with receiving treatment from the institute’s practitioners, patients benefit from access to NYU’s other medical facilities, including the well-regarded Tisch Hospital.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Physical therapist Elizabeth Cendan has years of experience in her field, working for organizations such as the Rusk Institute of NYU Langone Medical Center. In her practice, Elizabeth Cendan has provided physical therapy to patients recovering from breast cancer treatment, both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Physical therapy can be an effective component of a comprehensive rehabilitation regimen to decrease pain and enable patients to regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Liz Cendan is an active supporter of breast cancer research and has participated in several fundraisers for breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer awareness is important since greater knowledge can lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates.

Approximately one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, the second leading cause of death for women. Onset typically occurs age 50 years or older, although younger patients are also at risk. There are many risk factors, though not all women with risk factors get cancer and not all women who get cancer have risk factors. Breast cancer risk factors include the following:

Genetic mutations: These include inherited changes to genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2. 

Early menstrual periods: Women who begin their periods before age 12 have a longer hormonal exposure time, which can raise the risk for breast cancer. 

Starting menopause after 55: Similar to those who begin menstruation early, women who have their periods for a longer time can face more cumulative exposure to hormones. 

Having denser breasts: Dense breasts have more connective tissue than fatty tissue, which can increase the risk of breast cancer. 

The American Cancer Society recommends that women get regular mammograms, as appropriate for their particular circumstances--for example, one every year for women ages 45 to 54, and every two years for those age 55 and over.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Complete Decongestive Therapy for Lymphedema

An experienced physical therapist, Elizabeth Cendan most recently served in the women's health department at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. There, Liz Cendan performed complete decongestive therapy for patients diagnosed with lymphedema.

For patients with lymphedema, damaged lymph nodes or vessels cause an abnormal flow of the lymph fluid. This, in turn, leads to chronic swelling and subsequent inflammation of tissue as well as pain and heaviness in the swollen area.

Complete decongestion therapy (CDT) is accepted as a standard first-line treatment for lymphedema. It involves four basic components, the first of which is a manual drainage technique that stimulates the lymphatic system. Outside of these sessions, the patient wears layered foam bandages or specialized, fitted garments to control swelling through compression, the second component of CDT.

The patient helps to support the movement of lymph by performing prescribed exercises, which function as the third component of the CDT regimen. The fourth, skin care, also requires the patient's participation in maintaining clean and well-moisturized skin that is resistant to infection.

The treatment regimen begins with an active phase, also known as the decongestive or intensive phase. This requires daily treatment from trained lymphedema experts and lasts approximately two to three weeks for the average patient. The patient then progresses to the maintenance or self-management phase, an ongoing regimen in which the patient follows individualized instructions that may include self-manual drainage and wearing compression garments daily.