There are many symptoms often associated with cancer and its subsequent treatments. Pain along with fatigue, swelling, decreased endurance, weakness, memory loss and insomnia may impact your participation in day to day activities. These symptoms also may contribute to decreased function, impaired gait, decreased functional independence and diminished quality of life.
Rehab Specialists will implement a carefully tailored treatment program to help address symptoms experienced. This may include the use of manual therapy, interferential stim, Class IV Deep Tissue Laser therapy, TENS and Electro-Therapeutic Point Stimulation (ETPS) therapy which can help benefit cancer patients to manage pain and improve quality of life, thus reducing dependency on drugs.
Physical therapist can also provide a personalized therapy program which could help prevent the manifestation of and reduce intensity of cancer related fatigue. Research has shown that patients who exercise experience significant improvements in physical function.
In an outpatient clinic setting, an Occupational Therapist can assist with general weakness by creating a Care Plan and a Home Exercise Program that will increase strength and endurance in order to help one return to their prior level of function and/or to improve one's overall quality of life.
Qualifying conditions and potential interventions for OT include:
- Debility, fatigue, poor endurance
- Upper extremity impairment
SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY
Speech Language Pathologists can also assist with common side effects including swallowing difficulties as well as cognitive changes.
There may be some short term negative effects on swallowing after chemotherapy and radiation to the throat region. Some of these symptoms may include: gagging, coughing, lots of spitting or pain. Some people may need to consult a Speech Pathologist for a swallow evaluation to determine the safest oral diet and swallow strategies. Some suggestions may include the following: a pureed diet, a soft diet, liquids that have thickener in it to make it go down better, cold foods, crushed medications, frequent small meals, small bites, small sips, and alternate liquids with solids. A person may need to avoid hard crunchy foods and/or acidic foods.
Many people after brain cancer can experience some cognitive changes. The symptoms may be different depending on where in the brain the cancer is located. People have described it as “in a fog” or “chemo brain”. The following symptoms may result from cancer and cancer treatment: concentration deficits, mental fog, disorientation, memory loss, problems understanding, difficulty with judgement, confusion, and slower processing. A Speech Pathologist may need to be consulted to help determine deficits and address them through a standardized assessment.
If you are going through or have already completed cancer treatment, call us today at (269) 459-6212 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.