Rehabilitation of surgical cancer patients at University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

J Surg Oncol. 2007 Apr 1;95(5):361-9. doi: 10.1002/jso.20775.


With early detection and treatment, survival rates for many types of cancer have improved. Long term survivors have number of issues, which can include functional deficits, pain, fatigue, lymphedema and altered bowel and bladder function. Simple activities such as mobility and the ability to perform self care can be limited. In addition, re-integration into society with activities such as driving, social interaction and return to work are often problematic. The goal of cancer rehabilitation is to improve quality of life by minimizing disability and handicap caused by cancer and associated treatments. Initial rehabilitation interventions usually occur in an inpatient setting as patients often experience a decline in functional status due to cancer progression and or surgical treatment. Rehabilitation interventions reduce the debility and functional deficits and add to the quality of life for cancer patients undergoing surgical treatments. The rehabilitation team can assist not only with acute decline in functional status but also with re-integration back in society. Both general and specific rehabilitation interventions based on diagnoses are reviewed.

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Care Facilities*
  • Chaplaincy Service, Hospital
  • Consultants
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Lymphedema / rehabilitation
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rehabilitation Nursing / standards*
  • Social Work
  • Survival Rate
  • Texas