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When fighting cancer, rehabilitation can help you adjust to any physical changes, regain your functional abilities and independence, and improve your overall quality of life. For instance, you may have difficulty moving your arms and legs, walking up and down the stairs, or performing everyday tasks. Cancer rehabilitation can help you conserve your energy and regain your strength so you can return to a more active and independent lifestyle.
The scope of cancer rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Physical therapy aims to help you restore your strength and improve your ability to be active and independent. Some goals of physical therapy are to reduce your pain, improve your mobility (e.g., walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of bed), and restore your physical performance of everyday activities. Physical therapists evaluate movement potential to help you establish an exercise plan with agreed upon goals. Depending on your situation, you may focus on flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, posture, and/or balance.
Occupational therapy aims to help you live as independently as possible by working smart, not hard, in your own environment. Some goals of occupational therapy are to assist and train in performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as grooming, dressing, bathing, and eating. Occupational therapists study you as you interact with your day-to-day surroundings, assess your physical mobility, and teach you how to address, and adapt to, any physical limitations. They can help you identify those activities, tools, and assistive devices (e.g., walkers) that will help improve strength, function, and problem-solving.
Speech-language pathology aims to help improve your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and resolve any swallowing problems that may limit your ability to eat and drink safely. Speech-language pathologists help with speech production, vocal production, language needs, concentration and memory problems, problem-solving abilities, swallowing difficulties, and other related problems.
NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE BEGINNING ANY CANCER REHABILITATION OR EXERCISE PROGRAM.
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