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Cancer Physiotherapy

The Specialist Services Physiotherapy Department provides a service to all cancer patients attending the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, lymphoedema patients in the Belfast Trust area and palliative patients based in the community. The Specialist Services Physiotherapy Department provides a range of services for cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema which include:

  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Supportive and palliative care
  • Onward referral to local community, hospital or hospice care
  • Survivorship care and activity advice

The physiotherapists are an experienced team of specialist cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema clinicians who work with all members of the health care team. The aim is to support patients to live as active and independent lives as possible.

The team has specific skills to manage:

  • Breathing problems such shortness of breath or difficulty clearing chest coughs
  • Mobility problems such as having difficulty moving from bed, climbing stairs or due to poor balance
  • Pain
  • Lymphoedema (swelling)
  • Cancer related fatigue / tiredness
  • Fractures related to cancer
  • Muscle or joint problems
  • Neurological conditions related to a cancer, such as weakness and loss of balance
  • Activity/exercise guidance
  • Handling techniques for individuals
  • Teaching and advice for carers

  • Referral

    All referrals to the Specialist Services Physiotherapy Department will be followed up. Emergency breathing problems will be addressed within 24 hours of referral. Referrals of patients not under the care of the Belfast Trust will be forwarded to a more suitable local clinic or hospital.

    Modes of Referral

    Cancer Centre (Oncology and Haematology)

    This is available for all Cancer Centre and Haematology inpatients and for outpatients receiving cancer treatments or who are up to 8 weeks post- treatment).
    All Cancer Centre and Haematology health care professionals can make written requests for physiotherapy / lymphoedema assessment and treatment of patients. If a patient or their carer feels that this service would be beneficial, they should discuss this with their nurse, doctor or radiographer.

    Lymphoedema Service (based in Cancer Centre and Beech Hall and Grove Health and Well Being Centres)

    This is available for all cancer and non-cancer lymphoedema patients based in the Belfast Trust catchment area.

    • North and West Belfast – contact via the call management centre 08456066596
    • South and East Belfast- via the Cancer Centre or via this website.

    Community Palliative Care

    For palliative care patients based in the Belfast catchment area, referrals should be directed via the call management centres:

    • North and West Belfast (08456066596)
    • South and East Belfast (028 90565565)
  • Contact Us

    Patients can contact the Specialist Services Physiotherapy Department in the Belfast City Hospital by:


    Physiotherapy Department, Belvoir Park Suite, First Floor, Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB

    Telephone numbers:

    Physiotherapy – Oncology: 028 95040603

    Physiotherapy – Haematology: 028 95040604

    Lymphoedema: 02890638418 (and answering machine)

    Fax number: 028 90699459

Opening hours

The Physiotherapy department is open from 8.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The team also provide an out of hours emergency service for patients in the Cancer Centre (evenings and weekends). This is primarily for difficulties related to breathing.

Disability access

All areas of the Cancer Centre are accessible to wheelchair users and those with disabilities. Patients who are disabled or have a speech, hearing or visual impairment can contact the Physiotherapy team prior to their appointment.

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