Tips on Finding Insurance Coverage for Cancer Rehabilitation
July 02, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Recognizing Actinic Keratosis
June 19, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Two Congressional Bills on Colorectal Cancer Introduced
June 19, 2012 – Lena Huang
We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America
June 15, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Finalist Esssay: Not Just a Nurse, But Also an Angel
June 15, 2012 – Cesar Quesada
Finalist Essay: My Christmas Carol
June 14, 2012 – Wendy Crowther
Long-Term Estrogen-Only Hormone Therapy Increases Breast Cancer Risk
June 13, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Breast Cancer Call to Rehabilitation & Exercise Action
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Is Rehabilitation Right for You?
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Prevention is the Best Medicine When It Comes to HPV
June 16, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
First Steps: Vaccine Research
June 15, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Myths About the Dying Process
June 16, 2012
Expressing Oneís Thoughts
June 16, 2012 – Katy Human
Rx-Fueled Anger
June 15, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Questions to Ask About a Clinical Trial
June 16, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Better, Stronger, Happier
June 16, 2012 – Carole Schneider, PhD
Pipeline
June 13, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
My Oncology Angel
June 14, 2012 – Greg Schilling
Sweet Relief: Could Chocolate Prevent Cancer?
June 14, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
EPA Plans to Cut Radon Program, Despite Continued Cancer Risk
June 16, 2012 – Jane Hill
Light Bright: Awareness of Skin Sensitivity
June 12, 2012 – Lacey Meyer
Shifts in Causation, Biology and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
June 13, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Comments from our Readers
June 14, 2012
Cruciferous Veggies May Ward Off Recurrence
June 15, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Q&A: Counterfeit Chemotherapy Drugs Cause Concern
June 16, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
CT Challenge Survivorship Summit
June 16, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Swift Thanks Absentee Date at ACM Awards
June 15, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Leukemia Survival Rates Greatly Improved, Study Says
June 16, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
ASCO Updates
June 12, 2012 – Staff Reports
Letting Go: Saying Goodbye When a Loved One Says Itís Time
June 13, 2012 – Don Vaughan
The Write Stuff: Expressive Writing About Cancer Promotes Healing and Well-Being
June 11, 2012 – Katy Human
Seeing Red: Coping with Anger During Cancer
June 10, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Trials & Tribulations: Pursuing a Clinical Trial Requires Determination and Education
June 11, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Road to Recovery: Cancer Rehab Defines the New Normal
June 10, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Facing the Facts: HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers Get a Second Look
June 15, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
Calling Cancer's Bluff: Research in Vaccine Therapy for Cancer Is Paying Off
June 11, 2012 – Laura Beil
Tips on Finding Insurance Coverage for Cancer Rehabilitation
July 02, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Recognizing Actinic Keratosis
June 19, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Two Congressional Bills on Colorectal Cancer Introduced
June 19, 2012 – Lena Huang
We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America
June 15, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Finalist Esssay: Not Just a Nurse, But Also an Angel
June 15, 2012 – Cesar Quesada
Finalist Essay: My Christmas Carol
June 14, 2012 – Wendy Crowther
Long-Term Estrogen-Only Hormone Therapy Increases Breast Cancer Risk
June 13, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Breast Cancer Call to Rehabilitation & Exercise Action
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Is Rehabilitation Right for You?
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Prevention is the Best Medicine When It Comes to HPV
June 16, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
First Steps: Vaccine Research
June 15, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Myths About the Dying Process
June 16, 2012
Expressing Oneís Thoughts
June 16, 2012 – Katy Human
Rx-Fueled Anger
June 15, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Questions to Ask About a Clinical Trial
June 16, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Currently Viewing
Better, Stronger, Happier
June 16, 2012 – Carole Schneider, PhD
My Oncology Angel
June 14, 2012 – Greg Schilling
Sweet Relief: Could Chocolate Prevent Cancer?
June 14, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
EPA Plans to Cut Radon Program, Despite Continued Cancer Risk
June 16, 2012 – Jane Hill
Light Bright: Awareness of Skin Sensitivity
June 12, 2012 – Lacey Meyer
Shifts in Causation, Biology and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
June 13, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Comments from our Readers
June 14, 2012
Cruciferous Veggies May Ward Off Recurrence
June 15, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Q&A: Counterfeit Chemotherapy Drugs Cause Concern
June 16, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
CT Challenge Survivorship Summit
June 16, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Swift Thanks Absentee Date at ACM Awards
June 15, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Leukemia Survival Rates Greatly Improved, Study Says
June 16, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
ASCO Updates
June 12, 2012 – Staff Reports
Letting Go: Saying Goodbye When a Loved One Says Itís Time
June 13, 2012 – Don Vaughan
The Write Stuff: Expressive Writing About Cancer Promotes Healing and Well-Being
June 11, 2012 – Katy Human
Seeing Red: Coping with Anger During Cancer
June 10, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Trials & Tribulations: Pursuing a Clinical Trial Requires Determination and Education
June 11, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Road to Recovery: Cancer Rehab Defines the New Normal
June 10, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Facing the Facts: HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers Get a Second Look
June 15, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
Calling Cancer's Bluff: Research in Vaccine Therapy for Cancer Is Paying Off
June 11, 2012 – Laura Beil

Better, Stronger, Happier

Why cancer rehabilitation is necessary

BY Carole Schneider, PhD
PUBLISHED June 16, 2012

Cancer affects one in three people at some stage in their life. The good news is that the advent of new technologies and treatments means fewer people are dying of cancer. Yet cancer and its treatments leave a majority of cancer survivors with compromised muscular strength and cardiovascular abnormalities, leading to diminished energy, fatigue and weakness. In fact, the potential exists for cancer survivors to experience negative alterations in every system (cardiovascular, muscular, immune, gastrointestinal, etc.) within their bodies.

These negative alterations compromise the quality of life for cancer survivors, making it difficult to perform activities of daily living. The purpose of cancer rehabilitation is to reverse the severity of the negative side effects of cancer and its treatments. Cancer rehabilitation, therefore, is essential as a complementary treatment throughout the cancer continuum (diagnosis, treatment, recovery).

Cancer rehabilitation is multidimensional, addressing issues related to the psychological well-being, socioeconomic impact and physical functioning of cancer survivors. Many cancer rehabilitation programs focus on the psychological and socioeconomic issues of survivors but do not address their physical functioning (work capacity).

Cancer rehabilitation is multidimensional, addressing issues related to the psychological well-being, socioeconomic impact and physical functioning of cancer survivors.

Improving physical functioning is essential for cancer survivors’ quality of life. The positive effects of exercise are closely related to the negative effects of cancer treatment. For example, some chemotherapy drugs can adversely affect heart function. Exercise, on the other hand, can improve heart function by increasing the heart’s ability to contract, which boosts the amount of blood pumped by the heart so oxygen can be delivered more efficiently to the working muscles. The increased oxygen can help reduce the fatigue often experienced by cancer survivors.

Exercise-based cancer rehabilitation can also lead to enhanced muscle strength by improving mechanisms within the muscle tissue. Research investigations at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute have shown improvements in cardiovascular work capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, range of motion and quality of life, with simultaneous reductions in depression and fatigue during and following treatment. We have found that even a limited amount of exercise prior to beginning treatment helps minimize the negative effects of cancer treatments.

When considering a cancer rehabilitation program, select one that offers exercise specifically for cancer survivors. The program should include qualified personnel, such as trained physical therapists and certified cancer exercise specialists. Physical therapists will work specific areas (i.e., shoulder range of motion for breast cancer patients) while cancer exercise specialists work the entire body (because cancer treatments affect the whole body). The program should include a variety of activities for cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, balance, flexibility and range of motion. The program should focus on the main components of exercise: frequency, duration, intensity (how hard you work) and progression. The most important component of exercise is intensity. The program should be moderate intensity during treatment and for two months following treatment. Intensity of exercise is based on heart rate. The program should be two to three times per week for 60 minutes in duration. During treatment, there may not be an increase (progression) in exercise, because this is based on how the patient feels. Two months following treatment there is a slow, gradual progression in duration and intensity of exercise.

Remember, take control of your life. Don’t let cancer defeat you. Get involved in a cancer rehabilitation program. You will feel better, stronger and happier.

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In