Brain Cancer Oncology Rehabilitation
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Video: What Challenges Do Neurological Cancer Patients Face?People who have brain or spinal cancer often face physical, functional and emotional challenges. Dr. Baird talks about two such challenges, mobility and depression, and why integrated care is important for neurological cancer patients.
Addressing the Challenges of Brain Cancer
CTCA neurosurgeon Dr. Clinton Baird discusses the importance of an integrated approach to addressing the challenges of brain cancer, such as changes in neurological function.
Oncology Rehabilitation for Brain Cancer
Brain cancer and its treatments can cause cognitive and physical impairments. Depending on which part of the brain or nervous system is involved and the functional system it affects (e.g., motor, sensory, language, etc.), many brain cancer patients experience the following:
- Memory problems/poor concentration
- Difficulty thinking clearly/processing information
- Difficulty finding words to express thoughts
- Speech problems
- Weakness or numbness
- Balance and coordination problems
- Visual problems
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
Changes in neurological function, including your ability to communicate with others and perform everyday tasks, can be upsetting, frustrating and scary. Also, being able to maintain your mobility is essential to getting through treatment without complications like pneumonia, other infections, or even paralysis.
The oncology rehabilitation team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), including licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists, will support you on many levels throughout brain cancer treatment.
Oncology Rehabilitation Therapies
When you arrive at CTCA, you’ll have an opportunity to meet with a cancer rehabilitation therapist for a physical assessment. The assessment will evaluate functional deficits and needs.
Together, you and your rehabilitation therapist will develop a plan that is based on your individual goals, which can mean anything from daily walks to just being able to use the bathroom or get out of bed.
Your oncology rehabilitation plan may include any of the following therapies:
- Physical therapy, including cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training, can help improve endurance, coordination and balance, and restore mobility.
- Occupational therapy can help with performing everyday activities by addressing physical limitations in dressing, grooming, bathing and eating.
- Rebuilder technique, an electronic stimulation to the affected area, can help reduce neuropathy and increase tactile sensory and awareness.
- Massage therapy, a touch therapy, can help alleviate muscle tension and restore a sense of relaxation and well-being.
- Interactive metronome, a series of computer-generated sounds to measure a rhythmic beat and response, can help increase concentration and improve balance.
- Speech-language pathology can help improve speech, cognition, and swallowing problems that may limit your ability to eat and drink safely.
Once your treatment is complete, our cancer rehabilitation team will educate you about the physical and psychological benefits of physical restoration, and help prepare you and your family for continuing rehabilitation at home.
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