Cancer Weakness and Fatigue
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can have multiple side effects. The treatments affect the immune system, cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, gastrointestinal system, musculoskeletal system, and your whole body. Treatments can also lead to hormone imbalances.
- Some effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation are pain, body image problems, changes in sleep patterns, lymphedema, depression, and weakness and fatigue.
- Research has shown that weakness and fatigue are not related to exertion. It is felt throughout the whole body, and can cause an extensive urge to decrease activity or sleep. This can limit participation in activities of daily living.
- There are ways to prevent these overwhelming feelings of weakness and fatigue. Exercise is one of the ways.
Benefits of Exercise
Throughout structured treatment, the oncology patient may gain increased:
- general strength
- cardiovascular conditioning and endurance
- functional mobility
- weight management
- Immune function
What is Oncology Rehabilitation?
Oncology Rehabilitation is an exercise-based treatment program in which an oncology patient is evaluated by a Rehabilitation Therapist and an individualized exercise program is developed for the patient. The exercise is supervised and progressed as the patient works toward individual personalized goals. Oncology Rehabilitation is focused on improving function and managing the signs and symptoms of weakness and fatigue related to cancer treatment.
St. John Oncology Rehabilitation Vision
The purpose of Oncology Rehabilitation is to improve the function of the oncology patient with regard to weakness and fatigue. Oncology Rehabilitation provides treatment that increases quality of life and functional independence with special attention to fatigue, endurance and holistic care. Our goals are to encourage independent mobility and increase overall stamina in a supervised and compassionate environment.
Oncology Rehabilitation Referral Process
- See your doctor to discuss how Oncology Rehabilitation may help to minimize the effects of weakness and fatigue on your daily function.
- If you and your doctor find that you may benefit from Oncology Rehabilitation, they can prescribe “Oncology Rehab.”
- Locate a St. John Health System Facility near you that provides Oncology Rehabilitation.