Oncology Rehabilitation for Survivors

With the advancement in cancer treatment nowadays, more cancer can be cured. Survival rate and life expectancy of cancer patients have been increasing in the last few decades. A smooth transition to survivorship after cancer treatments requires intricate care in many aspects including physical, emotional, social and vocational. Healthcare professionals will help cancer survivors manage the side effects of cancer treatments and improve quality of life. Therefore, oncology rehabilitation is becoming more popular in recent twenty years.

Aims of Oncology Rehabilitation:
  • To relieve signs and symptoms of complications, e.g. pain, joint stiffness, fatigue, lymphoedema and deconditioning
  • To resume usual activities
  • To improve fitness
  • To improve quality of life
Rehabilitation Team:
  • Oncologist
  • Rehabilitation physician
  • Pain specialist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Oncology nurses
Clinical psychology and dietetic services are also available if needed.

  • In-patient service - during operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy periods
    • It aims to reduce the side effects and complications of cancer treatments and help patients to resume normal functions
  • Out-patient service - individualised rehabilitation programme
    • Physiotherapy treatments will be provided according to individuals’ needs. Body functioning can be enhanced in a safe and efficient way
Services include:
  • Pain Management
    • Reduce pain to facilitate early rehabilitation
  • Lymphoedema Monitoring and Management
    • Damage to lymphatic system, which is due to surgical removal of lymph nodes or post radiation, may cause lymphoedema at later stage
    • Individuals with breast, gynecological or genitourinary cancer, regardless of gender, are more vulnerable to lymphoedema over the limbs or trunk
    • Management of lymphoedema and cording includes manual lymphatic drainage and bandaging
  • Cancer-Related Fatigue and Deconditioning (Cancer-Related Fatigue Programme)
    • Assess survivors’ condition, and derive a tailor-made exercise plan with realistic goals
    • Physiotherapists will modify the mode of training with regard to the side effects or problems arising from previous cancer treatments e.g. surgical wound, stoma, poor agility, fragile skin with diminished sensation etc
    • Provide muscle strengthening, aerobic fitness, balance and flexibility training