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Oncology rehabilitation

Our services

Oncology rehabilitation includes a wide range of therapies designed to help you build strength and endurance, regain independence, reduce stress and maintain the energy to participate in daily activities that are important to you.

The rehabilitation therapies we offer patients include:

Physical therapy: As part of your cancer treatment, our physical therapists may help you design an individualized exercise program that combines range-of-motion training with light resistance exercises. These therapeutic exercises aim to reduce fatigue and improve physical function, safety and well-being.

Occupational therapy: Our occupational therapists are available to help you with daily living activities that are important to your routine and quality of life, such as dressing, showering and eating.

Speech and language pathology: Many cancer patients may benefit from speech and language pathology. Therapists address problems you may be experiencing, including dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, loss of voice and cognitive changes that often result from cancer treatment.

Lymphedema prevention and treatment: Lymphedema is a condition in which excess lymphatic fluid collects in the interstitial tissue and causes swelling in specific areas of the body, usually in the arms or legs. Swelling may also occur in other parts of the body, such as the breast or chest wall.

Lymphedema may develop as a result of cancer, cancer treatment (e.g., surgery, radiation), infection, trauma, scar tissue or anything that changes, blocks or interrupts the flow of lymph fluid through the lymphatic system. While it is most often associated with breast cancer, lymphedema may result from treatment for other cancers, such as prostate, ovarian, lymphoma and melanoma.

The greater the number of lymph nodes removed, the higher the risk for developing lymphedema. Early diagnosis and treatment for lymphedema is important in helping managing symptoms and preventing the condition from progression. Untreated lymphedema may lead to decreased function and mobility in the affected limb, skin breakdown, infection and other complications.

With proper care and treatment, lymphedema may be prevented or controlled. Lymphedema treatments vary from person to person, depending on the severity and cause.

Our oncology rehabilitation team provides treatments designed to either prevent or reduce the swelling associated with lymphedema. Treatment may include skin care, manual lymph drainage, gentle massage and light exercises to help stimulate the lymphatic system. We may combine surveillance with bioimpedance, or the measurement of how well the body impedes electric current flow, gentle range-of-motion exercises and other techniques.

We may also recommend compression bandages, pumps or garments (e.g., sleeves, stockings) to help prevent additional fluid from accumulating in the tissue. In addition, medications may help reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots and treat infections.

After non-surgical therapeutic approaches have been exhausted, we may also recommend surgical options for the treatment of lymphedema.