Cancer Rehabilitation Therapists
Learn about the importance of cancer rehabilitation specialization
Cancer is a unique and complex disease, requiring multiple medical professionals to manage the many facets of care for achieving the best possible survival rates for those diagnosed. While survival rates are improving and prevalence of survivors are increasing exponentially, many cancer treatment interventions have long and late term sequelae that often leave survivors with a very different “normal” than prior to diagnosis. Pain, cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CPIN) and cognitive impairment (“chemo brain”), just to name a few, can cause survivors to drastically alter their physical, functional, vocational and social interactions. Current statistics show 60-90% of those diagnosed with cancer demonstrate at least one physical impairment or functional limitation related to their treatment.1-2
Changing Approach to Exercise

Historically, people undergoing treatment for cancer were told to rest and avoid activity; however, emerging research on exercise has challenged this recommendation. The American College of Sports Medicine thus conducted a roundtable to address this issue. The roundtable concluded that exercise training is safe during and after cancer treatments and results in improvements in physical functioning, quality of life, and cancer-related fatigue in several cancer survivor groups.3

Importance of Cancer Specialization for Therapists

Due to the dynamic and complex nature of oncology patients, rehabilitation care is particularly challenging. As patients progress through treatments and/or their disease advances, their needs often change and their rehabilitation target needs to be adjusted. Cancer rehabilitation therapists are extensively trained on the unique impacts of cancer and cancer treatments, and how to personalize rehabilitation programs based on individual needs. Rehabilitation interventions are often designed not only to improve function and quality of life, but also safety, thus reducing resource utilization by preventing injury. In addition, cancer rehabilitation therapists are extensively trained not only to improve quality of life, but also on improving compliance. As has been noted in the literature, impairments from cancer and cancer treatments can decrease compliance. In a broad review of exercise and cancer conducted in 2018, researchers noted that “The most effective type of exercise, optimal exercise frequency and intensity based on the type of cancer should be prescribed and supervised as a therapeutic program.”4

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 life-saving medical interventions. As cancer rehabilitation therapists, our focus is to support you and your patients by helping to restore their function and quality of life.

With cancer’s complex nature, a deep understanding of it and its various treatment interventions, as well as the potential adverse effects on the body, is required to achieve optimal physical and functional outcomes with cancer survivors. ReVital therapists are licensed and specially-trained in oncology rehabilitation. They understand the unique challenges patients face in undergoing cancer treatment. Our therapists have extensive clinical training certifications, developed in conjunction with some of the top researchers in the field of cancer rehabilitation. Additionally, the ReVital training program includes competencies designed to ensure the highest quality care and requires ongoing education to continue building therapists’ base of knowledge and skills that align with the most current research. Together we can partner to help all cancer survivors live well beyond cancer.

1. Cheville AL, Troxel AB, Basford JR, Kornblith AB. Prevalence and treatment patterns of physical impairments in patients with metastatic breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:2621-2629.
2. Thorsen L, Gjerset GM, Loge JH, et al. Cancer patients’ needs for rehabilitation services. Acta Oncol. 2011;50:212-222.
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20559064
4. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24456'