Having cancer means lifestyle changes. Among the alternatives the patient can find to cope with the situation, cancer rehabilitation stands out. Do you want to know more about it? Then, continue reading:
WHAT IS CANCER?
To begin with, it is important to understand that cancer is a disease of which there are several types (such as liver cancer) and can occur in any area of the body.
It occurs when abnormal cells develop and divide and grow out of control, becoming larger than normal cells. They filter and destroy body tissue, making it difficult for the body to function optimally.
In addition, it can originate in a specific area, then spread to others (metastasize). It is a disease that can be fatal, although at present more and more people continue their lives thanks to the diagnosis and treatment.
It refers to the techniques and procedures carried out with the objective of supporting patients, to optimize their daily functioning, as well as to recover and preserve their adequate emotional and physical state. In this sense, it is usually part of cancer treatment.
Among the services that are usually included in rehabilitation are: physical exercises, counseling about the disease and how to cope with it. Also, nutritional and psychological counseling.
It contributes to the performance of daily tasks, such as returning to work, studies and household chores.
- Adaptation to prosthesis (if applicable).
- Improves resistance and strength.
- Increases self-esteem.
- Reduces fatigue.
- Recovers or increases mobility.
- Allows faster recovery.
- It becomes a support for the patient and his family.
- Relieves pain.
- Minimizes hospitalizations.
- Rehabilitation team.
It is generally made up of the following professionals:
- Oncologist: doctor specialized in the detection and treatment of cancer.
- Physiotherapist: in charge of evaluating and treating mobility limitations. It employs, for example, the use of exercises and massages.
- Nurse: trained to assist the patient in the rehabilitation process.
- Social worker: provides counseling, also evaluates the social and emotional aspects around the patient.
- Occupational Therapist: teaches methods that contribute to comfort and safety, as well as decrease fatigue.
- Nutritionist: provides guidance on healthy eating parameters to be followed, assignment of a nutritional plan and follow-up.
- Psychologist: he is in charge of listening to you and guiding you through this stage, as well as guiding you in the decision making process.
- Assistant or home helper: supports the personal care of the patient at home. In this sense, it provides support in daily activities such as walking, dressing, and even going to the bathroom.
ROLE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS
They constitute an important factor in the cancer rehabilitation process, because with their support the patient will feel accompanied and loved during this stage. In addition, they fill you with optimism and positive thoughts, as well as help you understand that although rehabilitation will probably last a long time, it will be worth it for your well-being.
As far as possible, it is advisable to accompany the patient to the therapies, including exercising with him (if applicable). At the same time, encourage him/her to follow the recommendations given by the treating team.
It is also essential to consult the doctor before beginning any rehabilitation procedure and to inquire about the different options to choose from.
It is also important to evaluate which is the best place to perform the rehabilitation, if you prefer to go to a specialized center or ask the professionals to go to the patient’s home (if possible).
In summary, cancer rehabilitation benefits the patient by allowing him/her to recover and preserve those skills that have been affected by the disease. At the same time, it represents a great alternative for maintaining confidence.