Cancer Rehabilitation

At many cancer centers, care ends with the last treatment – but at Providence, our unique cancer rehabilitation programs offer patients the physical and emotional support they need to regain their quality of life both during and after treatment.

Our patients benefit from a multidisciplinary team of oncology rehabilitation experts—including physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dietitians, recreation therapists, and social workers—allowing us to meet the specific needs of each individual.

We combine evidence-based cancer rehabilitation practices with services to address side effects and symptoms, from incontinence and depression to pain and fatigue. The result is our patients recover their energy, well-being, and quality of life more completely and more quickly. Your cancer rehab may include:\

  • Exercise therapy for weakness, fatigue or decreased balance resulting from chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy
  • Speech pathology and swallowing therapy to help regain function after head and neck cancer surgery
  • Physical and occupational therapy to increase endurance and build tolerance for resuming daily activities
  • Pelvic floor rehabilitation to successfully overcome incontinence, pelvic pain and core muscle weakness, particularly for those treated for prostate, colorectal, urological and gynecological cancers
  • Support from oncology social workers who can help with issues ranging from state and federal disability to community resources
  • Nutrition counseling during treatment and recovery, as well as help address specific issues such as loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Breast cancer rehab and lymphedema assessment
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help you regain the skills and endurance needed to return to work or school
  • Audiology consults for chemotherapy-related hearing impairment
  • Support groups to provide the encouragement of others walking the same journey
  • Spiritual support to help engage faith as a source of comfort and joy
  • Emotional support to help overcome depression or anxiety, including fear of a cancer reoccurrence

Many Providence St. Joseph Health locations offer specialized breast cancer rehab programs for breast cancer patients and survivors. Breast cancer rehab aims to maximize mobility, prevent/manage lymphedema, and increase overall strength.  Recent studies have shown that breast cancer survivors benefited from a supervised and individualized strength training program. Program can include: 

  • Pre-operative education and assessments for lymphedema and shoulder function 
  • Post-operative treatments:
    • Evaluation of pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, surgical site scar tightness, detection of lymphedema and general functional activity level changes 
    • Manual therapy to maximize mobility and flexibility
    • Exercises such as strength training, cardiovascular training, aerobics and Pilates
    • Surgical-site massage
    • Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) involves directional lymphatic massage, compression bandaging and garments, therapeutic exercise and skin care