Cancer patients benefit from rehab interventions before, during and after treatment

Did you know that more than 65 percent of cancer patients experience at least one functional deficit that impacts their daily life? These deficits include diagnoses such as:

  • Generalized weakness/debility
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty with mobility (walking and transfers from different surfaces)
  • Difficulty completing their ADLs (activities of daily living)
  • Cognitive complaints
  • Lymphedema
  • Speech and swallow impairments
  • Cognitive difficulty

Megan B. Nelson, M.D., physiatrist with UofL Physicians – Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, shared, “Unfortunately, research indicates that less than 10 percent of functional deficits in cancer patients do not get addressed. We can do better for our patients!”

And any time is a good time! According to Dr. Nelson, research shows patients benefit from rehabilitation interventions before, during, and after cancer treatments. “The goal is maximizing a patient’s function throughout their cancer journey and helping them achieve the maximal quality of life within the limits created by their disease.”

Dr. Nelson coordinates rehabilitation efforts within oncology and across the UofL Health for patients with any type of cancer. Fellowship trained in Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Nelson focuses on the unique functional needs of cancer patients and works with oncologists and the comprehensive cancer team serving patients from initial diagnosis, throughout treatment, and after treatment. She treats the whole patient, including musculoskeletal and neurological complaints, neuropathic pain, spasticity, lymphedema, fatigue, and overall quality of life.

To make an appointment within oncology at UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center with Dr. Nelson, call 502-588-2160.

“Referring your cancer patients to physical, occupational, and speech therapy can greatly help mitigate some of these functional impairments,” continued Dr. Nelson. “If you have patients undergoing or completing cancer treatments, refer them for rehab!”

Outpatient cancer rehab therapy is available at UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute  and the UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute outpatient scheduling

Phone: 502-582-7406                Fax: 502-582-7430

UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Outpatient Rehabilitation Services scheduling

Phone: 502-562-3457                Fax: 502-562-4030

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Article by: UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with eight hospitals, four medical centers, Brown Cancer Center, Eye Institute, nearly 200 physician practice locations, and more than 1,000 providers in Louisville and the surrounding counties, including southern Indiana. Additional access to UofL Health is provided through a partnership with Carroll County Memorial Hospital. With more than 13,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly-skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission: to transform the health of communities we serve through compassionate, innovative, patient-centered care.

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