Monday 4 November 2013

Physician Information When Referring Patients to Cancer Rehab

How can I convince my cancer patients of the therapeutic value of exercise?

How Can I Convince My Cancer Patients of the Therapeutic Value of Exercise?

Although exercise for cancer patients is strongly supported in studies, surprisingly few patients realize that physical activity can actually improve their survival outcomes and reduce their odds of reoccurrence, especially for colorectal and breast cancer patients. This is documented by Barbaric et al in Effects of Physical Activity of Cancer Survival: A Systematic Review. Physiotherapy Canada. 2012: 62:25-34.

When Should Patients be Referred for Cancer Rehabilitation?

The Cancer Rehab Canada program is appropriate for those who have completed their cancer treatments and are medically stable. Early referral to rehabilitation allows us to recognize and treat cancer-related physical impairments before they negatively impact daily function and increase emotional distress. Candidates must be willing to actively participate in their rehabilitation process.

Why Cancer Rehabilitation?

The goal of Cancer Rehab Canada is to optimize your patient’s functional abilities, enabling them to gradually return to work in a safe and timely manner in a capacity suitable to their abilities.

Cancer rehabilitation is strongly supported in the research for all types of cancer diagnosis and at all stages of survivorship. As stated in Advances in Survivorship Care: Resources, Lessons Learned and Promising Practices. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, good survivorship care includes a plan to help patients achieve their optimal level of function.

What Types of Cancer Impairment Can Rehab Help?

Functional impairments that benefit from rehabilitation include:

What Safety Measures Are Followed by Cancer Rehab Canada?

We monitor for potential problems such as bony metastasis, cardiac autonomic insufficiency, balance issues, fever, and fluctuating blood lab values indicating problems such as anemia or neutropenia. We will be reporting any medical red flags to you immediately and asking for your assistance in directing the appropriate medical follow up.  Cancer patients should be carefully screened for impairments prior to participating in community or group exercise, in order to address their individual needs, as outlined in Patient Safety in Cancer Rehabilitation. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America. 2012:23(2): 441-56 by Cristian et al.

Principles of the Cancer Rehabilitation Program

 Client-centered, active rehabilitation and empowerment are the principles of the program that is now offered at over 60 LifeMark/Centric Health clinics.

Client Centered – individualized, evidence based care provided in your community
Active – increasing your physical activity will have the biggest impact on your recovery
Rehabilitation – includes a multi-disciplinary team of rehab professionals
Empowerment – providing you with the tools you need to regain control of your life

Please contact one of our 62 Cancer Rehab locations across Canada. Links will direct to a Cancer Rehab provider in your area.

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