Cancer Rehabilitation Therapists
Learn about the importance of cancer rehabilitation specialization

Cancer is a unique and complex disease, requiring multiple medical professionals to help individuals manage and achieve the best possible life after diagnosis. Many cancer treatments result in long-term conditions that can often leave individuals with a very different “normal” life than prior to diagnosis.

Pain, cancer-related fatigue, neuropathy and cognitive impairment (“chemo brain” or “chemo fog”) can cause individuals to drastically alter their physical, functional, vocational and social engagements. Current evidence finds up to 60 to 90 percent of adults diagnosed with cancer report at least one need for cancer rehabilitation (physical, functional, falling, cognitive impairment, etc.) related to their treatment.1-5
Changing Approach to Exercise

Historically, people undergoing treatment for cancer were told to rest and avoid activity; however, in the last couple of decades, the research on physical activity/exercise has challenged this recommendation. The American College of Sports Medicine conducted a roundtable to address this issue.6 The roundtable concluded that exercise and physical activity are safe during and after cancer treatment and can result in improvement in physical functioning, quality of life and cancer-related fatigue for individuals with several types of cancer.6

Importance of Cancer Specialization for Therapists

Due to the dynamic and complex nature of cancer, its treatment and survivorship, rehabilitation care needs to be specialized. As individuals progress through treatments and/or their disease advances, their needs change and rehabilitation targets need to be adjusted. Cancer rehabilitation therapists are extensively trained on the unique impact of cancer and cancer treatments, and how to personalize effective rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitation interventions are often designed not only to improve function and quality of life, but to reduce the burden of short- and long-term difficulties caused by cancer and/or its treatment.
ReVital is a Leader in Cancer Rehabilitation

We have a common goal: to improve your patients’ quality of life. As oncologists, your focus is on lifesaving medical interventions. As cancer rehabilitation therapists, our focus is to support you and your patients by helping to restore their function and overall quality of life.

Due to cancer’s complex nature, a deep understanding of the disease and its various treatment interventions, as well as its potential adverse effects on the body, is required to achieve optimal physical, functional and cognitive outcomes. ReVital’s cancer rehabilitation specialists have extensive training in the short-, long- and late- term side effects of cancer treatment. They understand the impact of cancer treatment on an individual’s ability to be physically active, functional (risk factors for high-symptom burden both for the short- and long- term) and have a good quality of life. Our therapists have the expertise and tools to prescribe a safe, effective multimodal physical activity and self-management education program for people with all cancer types. Our therapists are educated on the latest evidence to ensure that treatment programs follow best practice guidelines and standards. Additionally, the ReVital training program includes competencies designed to ensure the highest quality care. It also requires ongoing education to continue building therapists’ base of knowledge and skills that align with the most current research findings. Together we can partner to help people live well beyond cancer.

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  1. Cheville AL, Troxel AB, Basford JR, Kornblith AB. Prevalence and treatment patterns of physical impairments in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2008;26(16):2621.
  2. Cheville A, Beck L, Petersen T, Marks R, Gamble G. The detection and treatment of cancer-related functional problems in an outpatient setting. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2009;17(1):61-67.
  3. Cheville AL, Kornblith AB, Basford JR. An examination of the causes for the underutilization of rehabilitation services among people with advanced cancer. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;90(5 Suppl 1):S27-37.
  4. Thorsen L, Gjerset GM, Loge JH, et al. Cancer patients’ needs for rehabilitation services. Acta Oncologica. 2011;50(2):212-222.
  5. Pergolotti M, Deal AM, Lavery J, Reeve BB, Muss HB. The prevalence of potentially modifiable functional deficits and the subsequent use of occupational and physical therapy by older adults with cancer. J Geriatr Oncol. 2015;6(3):194-201.
  6. Schmitz KH, Courneya KS, Matthews C, et al. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42(7):1409-1426.