Three Things You Should Know about Cancer Rehabilitation
Despite improved outcomes for cancer patients due to ongoing advancements in cancer care, cancer and its treatments can often cause debilitating physical problems to include weakness, stiffness, balance loss, cognitive decline. These effects can interfere with survivors’ recovery, their ability to complete treatment successfully and may decrease overall quality of life. Cancer rehabilitation can help cancer survivors regain control and improve their function, even while undergoing cancer treatments. Cancer rehab is provided by therapists who have extensive experience and certifications in treating the unique needs of cancer patients and and survivors. An estimated 65-90 % of cancer survivors develop impairments from cancer treatments and research now demonstrates that rehab can help survivors achieve optimal function, well being, and quality of life. Because cancer treatment can cause other medical problems (cardiac, respiratory, chemo-induced neuropathy), it is advised that patients are supervised and directed by a rehabilitation professional until it is safe to transition to an independent exercise program.
Here are some things you should know about cancer rehabilitation:
It benefits cancer patients throughout the continuum of care. At time of diagnosis – for education, exercise instruction, energy conservation, baseline assessment of strength, function – and can help to prepare you for the rigors of cancer treatment. During treatment – to keep patients active, prevent significant deconditioning and decrease muscle mass loss/sarcopenia (one of the best predictors/risks for mortality in cancer patients). After treatment – to help patients restore strength, endurance and function to improve quality of life and assist them with any modifications they may need due to new deficits
It is safe (and effective) for most cancer patients. With the right professionals, trained and skilled in treating cancer patients, rehabilitation is safe – and effective. Patients are closely supervised, medically monitored.
Cancer Prehabilitation (Prehab) is effective for cancer patients (rehab at time of diagnosis before treatment starts). Prehab can assist with improving patients’ ability to complete their cancer treatment /complete treatment with fewer physical impairments, demonstrate improved strength, endurance, overall physical functioning, improved outlook, decreased anxiety and decreased overall fatigue levels. Research indicates that patients who undergo prehab have fewer treatment side effects, demonstrate a reduction in physical functioning decline and improved overall outcomes.
Ask your physician if cancer rehab is right for you. Or, you can contact us to speak with one of our cancer rehab specialists. Cancer rehab can help you feel more empowered and live well beyond cancer treatment.