Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
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Outpatient Rehabilitation for Oncology-Related Effects
For more information, or to request referral forms, please call Lifespan Rehabilitation Services. Locations offering oncology rehabilitation are included below.
765 Allens Ave, Suite 102
Lifespan offers rehabilitation services to address the needs of children and adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. Rehabilitation services focus on restoring and maintaining a patient’s highest possible level of functioning, independence, and quality of life from the time of diagnosis through the recovery period. Each person referred to our program is evaluated to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Through a multidisciplinary, collaborative team approach, we coordinate and deliver services that address the preventative, restorative, supportive and palliative needs of children and adults affected by cancer.
Therapy for Conditions Related to Cancer and Its Treatment
Common problems addressed by Lifespan’s occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists include:
- Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
- Balance problems
- Difficulty walking
- Memory/concentration problems
- Difficulty washing and dressing
- Sexual dysfunction
- Gross and fine motor deficits
- Voice and swallowing issues
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is a malignant growth that affects any part of the lips, tongue, gums, jaw, cheek or throat.
People who have been treated for head and neck cancer often experience swallowing problems (dysphagia) and or difficulties with speech clarity (motor speech disorders). The seriousness of the problem depends on the type and nature of the cancer treatment, the size and location of the tumor, and the nature of any reconstruction.
Radiation therapy can lead to soreness in the mouth and throat, reduced saliva, dry mouth, and limited movement of the remaining structures. It may become more difficult to chew and move food from the mouth through the throat. Throat pain may limit or reduce the desire to eat and drink.
Swallowing problems can occur after cancerous areas of the mouth, throat, or larynx (voice box) are surgically removed.
Speech-language pathologists usually see a cancer patient before medical or surgical intervention. They will discuss possible changes in speech and swallowing. The therapist will evaluate the patient’s voice, speech articulation and verbal skills.
After the surgery or medical treatment, the therapist will evaluate the patient to identify any swallowing problems and will recommend swallowing modifications and an appropriate diet. Instruction will be given in oral hygiene and secretion management. Additional studies may be recommended to determine the risk of aspiration of food, which may lead to pneumonia.
The speech-language pathologist will also teach modifications in oral movements to maximize post-surgical and post-radiation speech intelligibility.