What Is Rehabilitation for NSCLC?
You may wonder what comes next after you have finished treatment for lung cancer. When you recover from the side effects of your cancer treatments, follow-up care begins.
Treatments for lung cancer can damage healthy cells and lead to side effects.
Hair loss and nausea are short-lived physical side effects. Nerve damage or hearing loss are some of the things that stick around longer. Cancer can leave behind emotional effects.
Cancer rehabilitation can be a part of the recovery process. A cancer rehabilitation program can help with the physical and emotional effects of treatment. It can help you regain your strength.
Cancer rehabilitation helps you recover from the physical, mental, and emotional changes that come with cancer. It can help you feel more normal and like you used to.
Many specialists work together in a cancer rehabilitation program. They will design a program that will fit your strengths and goals for cancer recovery. Follow-up care includes rehabilitation.
Cancer rehabilitation is supervised by an oncologist or another specialist. It has a variety of different services.
- Education about the effects of cancer and how to manage them.
- Physical therapy to help you regain lost strength and movement.
- Occupational therapy to maximize your energy and help you do everyday activities like dressing or bathing more easily.
- Respiratory therapy to help you breathe easier.
- Speech therapy to treat swallowing or speaking problems due to radiation or chemotherapy.
- Cognitive therapy to help you recover from “chemobrain,” the mental fuzziness that can set in after chemotherapy treatment.
- Nutrition counseling to help you get essential nutrients that help you become stronger and prevent your cancer from returning.
- Vocational counseling to ease the transition back to school or work after cancer treatment.
The first thing to do is to figure out which services will benefit you the most. The staff at the rehabilitation facility will ask about your symptoms and limitations to see where you need help the most. They can evaluate your strength or mobility, or watch you do daily activities like getting up from a chair.
They will create a plan to meet your needs. The plan should outline the treatments you will get, which specialists you will work with, and the number of visits you will benefit from.
The person who is supervising your plan should check your progress as you go along.
The goals of cancer rehabilitation are to treat cancer side effects, help you regain lost function, and facilitate your recovery. These programs help.
- Cancer can cause pain, swelling, and other side effects.
- Improve your strength, endurance, balance, and range of motion.
- boost your energy levels
- Help you deal with anxiety, depression, and sexual issues.
- Improve thinking skills.
- “It’s easier for you to do daily activities like climbing stairs, showering, and getting dressed.”
- Help you get back to work or school.
If you have cancer, a cancer rehabilitation program may be right for you.
“You don’t have to wait until your treatment is over to start cancer rehabilitation. These therapies can head off problems or prevent them from getting worse.”
A rehabilitation professional can assess your strength, movement, and activity level. They will recommend ways to reduce or prevent side effects of treatment.
Rehabilitation may be included in your plan after you have finished treatment. The summary of follow-up care recommendations is from your doctor.
“Hospitals and cancer treatment centers offer rehabilitation programs. You aren’t admitted to some of the programs. There are also overnight programs.”
It is important to choose a center that is convenient to access from your home. A cancer rehabilitation program can last for a long time. You may need to travel back and forth to the facility many times.
“If you can’t leave your home to go to a rehabilitation program, talk to your doctor. You may be able to receive in- home services. Your doctor can make recommendations.”
Before you start, ask if your insurance will cover the cost of rehabilitation. Some insurance plans will pay for cancer rehabilitation, but they might only cover a few sessions. You may be responsible for copays.
The goal of a cancer rehabilitation program is to help you recover from cancer and get back to normal life. Progress can take time, so you should feel better leaving a program than you did.
Follow the advice of your care team to get the most out of your rehabilitation program. If you are not seeing any improvement in your therapy, you should change your plan.