Cancer, and the treatment of cancer, can cause significant physical and cognitive problems for patients -- including those with active cancer and people who have not had treatment for years. This can include pain, weakness, fatigue, clouded thinking, problems walking, problems returning to work, and many more.
Cancer Rehabilitation is a team-based, sometimes comprehensive approach to helping people get their lives back on track before, during, and after cancer treatment. Since everyone has a unique medical history, you will be given an individualized plan to help you recover from symptoms associated with cancer.
Typically, this begins at a clinic visit with a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician -- sometimes called a physiatrist -- but can also include many other team members. Your rehabilitation physician will also help you to get to any other providers that may be able to help.
Every patient requires a unique approach. These are some of the team members that may be involved in your care:
There are many options for cancer patients' medical rehabilitation. Patients may need several different forms of rehabilitation, depending on their illness and treatment. The hospitals providing treatment refer patients for the medical rehabilitation if needed.
Medical rehabilitation requires a doctor's referral. The price of your hospital's own rehabilitation sessions is determined by set hospital fees.
Medical rehabilitation options
Neuropsychological rehabilitation is needed when you have a brain function disorder due to a brain tumour. Rehabilitation focuses on speech and perception comprehension, and support for speaking, attention and memory.
Speech therapy is for dealing with speech and voice disorders resulting from cancer. Speech and voice production problems can arise from a brain tumour, laryngeal cancer and oral cancer.
Physiotherapy includes exercise therapy, massage and various physical therapies.
Occupational therapy helps you cope with everyday life and with important things in your daily activities.
Lymphatic drainage can be used to treat swelling in the arms, armpit and chest. (lymphoedema). Such swelling and soreness are common symptoms following breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy. Swelling in the arms can easily turn to infection.
Lymphatic drainage is a therapy to revitalise the pumping mechanism of the lymph system. It helps strengthen the generation of new lymph vessels between the swollen area and the healthy part of the body. A swollen hand can be rehabilitated with physiotherapy in addition to lymph drainage, as well as with exercises and if necessary using a sling or some other assistive means.
You may need to use assistive devices during and following treatment. The use of assistive devices is a type of medical rehabilitation. To obtain an assistive device, you will need a written statement from a doctor or other health care professional. Physiotherapists often provide guidance on using assistive devices.
The assistive devices that cancer patients most commonly need are wigs and breast shapes (prostheses). The hospital treating you will provide a payment order for procuring an assistive device. Practices may vary in different hospital districts.
Cancer patients of working age have a chance to receive vocational rehabilitation. To receive this rehabilitation, you need to have a written statement and referral from a doctor. The aim of vocational rehabilitation is to maintain and promote your working and functional capacity.
Crystal Hospital Building, Maratha Colony,
Wamanrao Sawant Road,
Dahisar (East), Mumbai-400068, India.