Can Cancer Rehabilitation Help Me?


Cancer treatments sometimes cause problems. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can result in pain, make you feel tired and keep you from doing the things that you need or want to do. Cancer rehabilitation can help. Our goal is to reduce these troubling effects and help you have the best quality of life possible. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you learn more about the benefits of cancer rehabilitation.

What is cancer rehabilitation?

Cancer rehabilitation is much like other forms of rehabilitation that happen after a serious illness or injury such as a stroke or car accident. Medical services may include appointments with and treatments recommended by medical professionals, including physiatrists (doctors who specialize in rehabilitation medicine); nurses; physical, occupational and/or speech therapists; and mental health professionals.

What types of problems can be treated with cancer rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation professionals can help you cope with a wide variety of cancer and/or treatment-related conditions and their symptoms. These might include, but are not limited to, pain, weakness, tiredness (fatigue), shoulder problems, balance and walking (gait) problems, memory and concentration issues, swallowing and speech problems, swelling (lymphedema) as well as anxiety and/or depression.

How will I know if cancer rehabilitation can help me?

If you have any problems that you didn’t have before your diagnosis, especially if they interfere with your ability to do the things that you need or want to do, cancer rehabilitation can likely help you.

Will my insurance cover cancer rehabilitation?

If the cancer rehabilitation care is provided by professionals with healthcare degrees and licenses in rehabilitation medicine, then medical insurance should cover some or all of the costs. These covered items usually include appointments with and treatments recommended by physiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and even speech therapists. Other services that your insurance will usually cover, at least in part, include those provided by nurses and mental health professionals. As with all insurance issues, check with your carrier about deductibles, co-pays and limits.

What is the STAR Program?

The STAR Program (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) is a nationally recognized cancer survivorship certification that is focused on improving the lives of survivors who suffer from the side-effects caused by treatments. The STAR Program provides you with coordinated cancer rehabilitation supported by a team of specially trained and certified STAR Clinicians® and STAR Providers™. As a STAR Program patient, you will receive individualized, comprehensive cancer rehabilitation treatment to improve the symptoms affecting your daily functioning and quality of life.