Millions of new cancer patients are diagnosed every year worldwide. With the advances in the medical treatment of cancer patients, the survival rate has reached above 50%. Even when it is cured, cancer leaves a toll on your body that may affect your daily functioning and quality of life. In addition, as a cancer survivor, you may experience compromised physical or mental function due to cancer treatments and side effects. If your loved ones are recovering from cancer, you understand how the ling
Gaining functional independence is very important for a cancer fighter as well as for their support network.
What is Cancer/ Oncology Rehabilitation?
Cancer patients face functional deficits from continuous emotional and social distress and reduced quality of life. The aim of cancer rehabilitation is to provide you with the care to not only control your physical pain but also help with your mental, social and spiritual distress along with other symptoms.
Cancer rehabilitation involves helping you help yourself obtain maximum physical, social, psychological, and vocational functioning within limits imposed by your disease and its treatment. Your cancer rehabilitation core team may consist of an oncology physician, social workers, psychologists, physical therapists, oncology nursing staff, and occupational therapists.
Impairments Caused by Cancer:
- Impaired motor control,
- Cranial nerve deficits,
- Cognitive and speech problems,
- Swallowing problems,
- Sensory loss,
- Neurological dysfunction includes motor, sensory, bowel, and bladder impairment,
- Difficulties with speech or swallowing, etc.
Cancer Rehabilitation Goals:
Due to the progressive nature of cancer, the rehabilitation goals are divided into restorative, supportive, palliative, and preventive care.
- Restorative care: It aims to minimize any impairment in functions and return you to normal functioning levels.
- Supportive Care: It helps you reduce functional difficulties and compensate for any permanent deficits that you may have suffered.
- Palliative Treatment: It is usually given at the terminal stage of cancer to eliminate or reduce any complications such as pain that you may be suffering.
- Preventive Rehabilitation: It involves teaching you the exercises that may help you maintain various functions. For example, educating you regarding the practices for maintaining strength and range of motion in the upper limbs following breast surgery.
Deficits that can be treated with Cancer Rehabilitation:
1. Pain and Musculoskeletal Issues:
About 34% of cancer survivors suffer recurrent pain that may be due to the residual tissue damage from cancer or its treatment. The source of your pain is closely assessed, and appropriate treatment is provided to minimize it.
2. Deconditioning and Endurance Deficits:
Decreased exercise tolerance is a common symptom of cancer. But this deficit can be resolved by exercise training without causing you any severe side effects. Exercise training helps improve your heart and lung function, reduces fatigue, and improves physical function and quality of life.
Many cancer patients experience fatigue during and after the completion of cancer treatment. Many treatments like exercise, medicines, and psychological support can effectively reduce your fatigue.
4. Balance and Falls:
As a cancer survivor, you are at a higher risk of falls and fractures. This is because of chemotherapy's multiple risk factors like decreased lower limb strength, decreased sensation, and reflexes. Rehabilitation professionals like physical therapists are well educated in evaluating and treating balance-related disorders that you may have.
Lymphedema refers to the tissue swelling due to fluid accumulation, which commonly occurs in your arms or legs. Physical and occupational therapists are specifically trained and certified to treat lymphedema. The evidence based treatment for lymphedema includes-
- Manual lymph drainage
- Therapeutic Lymph exercises
A diagnosis of cancer can be emotionally and physically devastating to you. Even the treatment may cause emotional problems due to hormonal fluctuations or delayed emotional recovery. Therapy might help you deal with and manage your emotions during and after recovery.
Recovering from cancer is tough on both your body and mind. Accurate rehabilitation can help you deal with and manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Hence, we at 2050 Healthcare have oncology rehabilitation programs that will ensure your optimal recovery and help you quickly get back to your usual life. Recovering from cancer is a long journey, but we are here for you during every step of your recovery.