Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cathleen Bender, PT

Physical Therapist

Midwestern Regional Medical Center

"I believe in empowering patients to understand their particular issues and needs so they can be involved in their own healing process."

- Cathleen Bender, PT
Cathleen Bender, PT


  • Bachelor of Science, Physical Therapy - Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology - Augustana College, Rock Island, IL


  • Licensed Physical Therapist – State of Illinois
  • Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP) Certification - National Lymphedema Network

Practicing Since: 1985

Cathleen Bender joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) near Chicago as a physical therapist in 2014. Bender provides patients with therapies to help with pain relief and also to help improve range of motion, strength and endurance. She uses a variety of techniques, including craniosacral therapy, visceral mobilization and myofascial release to help improve treatment goals by providing patients with an integrative approach to their care.

Bender also teaches patients about their condition. “My job is to both treat and educate patients,” says Bender. “Patients with knowledge about their treatment are better able to be actively involved in their cancer journey.”

Bender completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. She was originally planning to pursue a medical degree but sought to find a career where she could spend more time with patients. That search led Bender to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.

Bender has worked as a physical therapist since 1985 at various clinics in California and Illinois before joining CTCA®. For 18 years, she also owned her own private outpatient physical therapy practice, focusing on treating chronic and acute pain. She has advanced training in craniosacral therapy through the Upledger program and has traveled to Australia for training in Neurolink, designed to improve brain-to-body communication.

She is also certified to treat lymphedema and has training in a variety of osteopathic techniques.

Outside of CTCA, Bender enjoys time with her family and friends. She is an avid nature lover and enjoys caring for her cat and two dogs.

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