Oncology Rehabilitation

What is Cancer Rehabilitation?

Cancer rehabilitation is defined as “medical care that should be integrated throughout the oncology care continuum and delivered by trained rehabilitation professionals who have it within their scope of practice to diagnose and treat patients’ physical, psychological and cognitive impairments in an effort to maintain or restore function, reduce symptom burden, maximize independence and improve quality of life in this medically complex population.”[1]

Cancer rehabilitation, similar to stroke and orthopedic rehabilitation, utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment that helps to:

  • Address disease-related and treatment-related impairments;
  • Decrease the number and/or severity of impairments and long-term problems; and,
  • Minimize survivors’ distress and disability.

STAR Program certified institutions improve access to evidence-based and best practices cancer rehabilitation care for the millions of survivors who need it.[2]

[1] Silver JK, Raj VS, Fu JB, Wisotzky EM, Smith SR, Kirch RA. Cancer rehabilitation and palliative care: Critical components in the delivery of high-quality oncology services. Support Care Cancer (2015).

[2] DeRamus A, Riggins C, Rice K, Jones K, Mahland M. Validation of the STAR Program Physical Impairment and Functional Assessment Screening Tool (PIFAST): Improves Access to Cancer Rehabilitation Care and Identifies Physical Impairments. Presented at the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (2015).