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Cancer Rehabilitation

Cancer rehabilitation is an important part of your cancer care. Cancer rehab includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Cancer rehab may be recommended as an outpatient, before treatment, to provide education and develop your strength program. Therapy is also an important part of any inpatient hospital stay. Post-treatment, rehabilitation is used to facilitate your return to your prior level of function.

Our Infirmary Cancer Care therapists specialize in cancer therapies designed to decrease the development and improve the management of long-term side effects associated with cancer treatment. Infirmary Cancer Care offers the only cancer rehabilitation program in the region.

For more information, call (251) 435-CARE (2273).

How Can Cancer Rehab Help Me?

  • Are you lacking joint range of motion or having pain that may or may not be accompanied by swelling since cancer surgery?
  • Do you notice weakness in your affected limbs?
  • Do you have achiness/heaviness or fatigue in your arms, legs, or side as your activity levels increase?
  • Are you having trouble getting your energy back after cancer treatments?
  • Are you unsure of how much to safely exercise during or after your cancer treatments?
  • Are you unsteady or dizzy with a fear of falling or experiencing numbness or tingling in your feet or hands since chemo treatments?
  • Are you experiencing chemo brain symptoms such as difficulty finding words or slowed mental processing?

What Is the Goal of Cancer Rehab?

At Infirmary Cancer Care our goal is to treat the entire patient and we strive to achieve the highest quality of life for our patients as soon as possible. As a result, we have the only cancer rehabilitation program in the region.

When Do I Need to See a Member of the Rehab Team?

As your cancer rehab team, we prefer to see you as early as possible in your cancer journey to establish a personal baseline. At your initial assessment, we will determine if you can benefit from rehab before your cancer treatment. Our cancer rehab team is trained to work with patients at any phase of their treatment, so it is never too late to start your rehabilitation.

Our Specialized Cancer Rehabilitation Services

Breast Cancer Rehab

We offer specialized treatment protocols for patients both preoperatively, and post-mastectomy, post-lumpectomy, and post reconstructive surgery. Patients may receive their rehabilitation during and/or following chemotherapy and radiation. The best results are achieved with early referral to the cancer rehab program. Your therapists will work with you to address pain, stiffness, thickening of the tissue at the scar site, limited movement of the arms, neck, and/or shoulders, and swelling.

Neuro-Oncology Rehab

This program addresses all cancer diagnoses that involve nerves and the brain by addressing fall prevention, walking and normal daily movement concerns, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (numbness, pain or tingling sensation in the feet and hands), balance difficulties, dizziness, and difficulty with feeling in hands and feet.

Pelvic & Colorectal Cancer Rehab

This program focuses on gynecological, colorectal, and prostate oncology. Your therapists will address urinary issues (incontinence, frequency, urgency); gastrointestinal irregularities (constipation, fecal incontinence); osteoporosis and bone health; sexual health; pelvic, abdominal, back, and hip pain; difficulty walking, balance and falls management; and lymphedema (swelling) management.

Head and Neck Cancer Rehab

The head and neck program encompasses the skills of several of our specialists including the skills of our speech-language pathologists who bring a broad range of services to offer to this population including treatment of dysphagia (i.e. swallowing difficulties from chemo, radiation, and surgery); facial paralysis; oral-motor deficits (i.e. inability to move tongue, lips, cheeks, and jaw); nutrition education; and altered cognitive status or chemo-brain (i.e. cognitive impairments due to radiation, chemo, or placement of the tumor). Other treatments for head and neck cancer patients include the treatment of fibrosis of the head and neck (thickening of the skin at the radiation or surgical site) as well as lymphedema (swelling) management in the head and neck.

Lymphedema (Swelling) Management

This program is targeted to start at the first sign of lymphedema or swelling/tightening of the skin. This means the therapists strive to educate patients on early recognition of symptoms so that steps can be taken before patients develop significant lymphedema symptoms. When started early, these therapies provide an opportunity for the lymphatic (fluid) system and/or the lymphedema condition to respond more favorably. Symptoms can be significantly reduced if treatment is started early. The cancer rehab therapists work with all oncology-based lymphedema diagnoses.

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