Cancer Rehabilitation Program
Cancer treatment can be hard on the body and make life challenging. Cancer rehabilitation helps patients with cancer and cancer survivors regain and maintain optimal physical, emotional, social, and work-life abilities. Many doctors and national health organizations now recognize rehabilitation as a necessary part of cancer care.
The UAB Medicine Cancer Rehabilitation Program serves patients before, during, and after treatment. Starting the program early can reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments on physical and mental abilities. The program helps cancer survivors who have finished treatment and need to improve their ability to walk, exercise, and more. It also teaches patients and their caretakers how to safely complete daily care tasks, allowing them to continue their cancer journey at home rather than in a hospital.
Our program can help patients:
- Reduce fatigue and other side effects of treatment.
- Improve mobility, balance, and coordination.
- Reduce joint, spine, and neuropathic (nervous system) pain.
- Increase strength and endurance.
- Improve speaking and swallowing.
- Care for themselves better.
- Return to work.
- Individualized exercise plan
UAB Medicine’s Cancer Rehabilitation Program is a collaboration between UAB’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Weight Loss Medicine, and Preventive Medicine teams. It is supported by specialists who use proven methods in rehabilitation, exercise oncology, and other fields. It includes physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, exercise physiologists, and other professionals who are trained to address the challenges of cancer treatment and recovery. Studies show that this broad approach helps improve pain control, physical and mental function, and emotional wellness. The process usually is led by a physiatrist, who is a doctor trained in diagnosing, treating, and preventing physical limitations or disabilities. The physiatrist will perform an evaluation and helps manage post-treatment conditions that affect patients’ ability to function, while also addressing other patient goals. Maximize how well exercise works for you by meeting with one of our cancer exercise physiologists. They will work with you on an individualized exercise plan that is personalized to your health conditions and goals. This plan can help you get the most out of exercise, especially when combatting cancer side effects such as fatigue.