Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Oncology Rehabilitation

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

At the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, we understand that cancer and its treatment can impair normal daily activities.

Oncology rehabilitation (also called cancer rehabilitation) is a subspecialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) that focuses on maintaining and restoring the highest possible functional status and quality of life to patients with cancer, at all stages of treatment through survivorship. Our physical medicine and rehabilitation program is widely recognized as a national leader in providing the most evidence-based therapies available for a variety of conditions.

Oncology rehabilitation plays a vital role in addressing the complex and evolving needs of people affected by cancer, promoting optimal physical, emotional, and functional outcomes throughout the cancer journey. By integrating rehabilitation into standard cancer care, we can optimize the overall well-being and quality of life of cancer survivors.

Oncology rehabilitation often involves a team of health care specialists working together with the patient to develop a personalized rehabilitation goal and plan. Led by a cancer rehabilitation physician, our physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and other oncology-trained support care staff work together with a targeted purpose – to help patients maintain or return to functional well-being.

Whether it’s fatigue, neuropathy, pain, weakness, mobility difficulties, memory or attention difficulties, exacerbations of old injuries, or anything that can impair activities of daily living, our cancer rehabilitation team can help.

What Is Oncology Rehabilitation?

Oncology rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary approach aimed at improving the physical, emotional, functional, and social well-being of people diagnosed with cancer. It addresses the complex and diverse needs of cancer survivors throughout the continuum of care, from diagnosis through survivorship and end-of-life care.

Services may include:

  • Specialized therapies, modalities, and medication prescription/management
  • Bracing
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Landmark and ultrasound guided injections/interventions for pain or muscle spasms
  • Education/counseling
  • Activity modification

Goals

  • Physical restoration: We focus on restoring physical function, managing symptoms, and addressing the side effects of cancer treatment such as fatigue, pain, neuropathy, and lymphedema.
  • Functional improvement: Rehabilitation aims to enhance functional abilities, including activities of daily living, mobility, strength, and endurance, and to optimize independence and quality of life.
  • Psychosocial support: Recognizing the emotional impact of cancer, rehabilitation provides psychosocial support, counseling, and coping strategies to address anxiety, depression, stress, and adjustment issues.
  • Symptom management: We employ various treatments, including medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nutritional counseling, and complementary therapies, to manage treatment-related symptoms and improve overall well-being.
  • Health promotion: Cancer rehabilitation promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors, including exercise, nutrition, smoking cessation, and stress management, to optimize long-term health and reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Care coordination: Collaboration among health care providers, including oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, nurses, and support services, ensures comprehensive and coordinated care tailored to a person’s needs and goals.

Benefits

  • Improved functional independence and quality of life
  • Enhanced symptom management and pain control
  • Increased tolerance of cancer treatments and faster recovery
  • Reduction in treatment-related complications and disability
  • Better emotional well-being and coping skills
  • Promotion of long-term health and survivorship

When to Consult a Cancer Rehabilitation Physician

Patients who experience any of these issues should make an appointment with our cancer rehabilitation staff:

  • Fatigue or weakness that limits activity
  • Neuropathy that limits activity or impairs balance
  • Falling or difficulty walking
  • Difficulty with neuropathy
  • Difficulty with dexterity or coordination
  • Lymphedema
  • Muscle, joint, or other pain that limits activity
  • Changes in memory, attention span, or ability to focus
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • Long-term side effects from radiation such as radiation fibrosis syndrome
  • Difficulty with any normal activities of daily living
  • Difficulty returning to work

Meet the Team