Make rehabilitation a part of cancer care and survivorship

ThriveRehabThe U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center has spent nearly a decade developing programs and services to help patients with rehabilitation. We sat down with Patty Clark, M.S.N., R.N., director of the Cancer Center’s Adult Survivorship Program, to talk about the broad scope of rehabilitation and how it should be a routine part of your cancer care and survivorship.

Q: What do we mean by “rehabilitation?”

With rehabilitation, we try to help people with cancer function at their optimum levels in life based on any limits that may have resulted from their cancer diagnosis or treatment. Cancer rehabilitation addresses physical, social, emotional and work-related changes and helps each person set achievable goals to maximize his or her ability to carry on with life.

Q: Why has rehabilitation become a major issue in cancer care?

Cancer rehabilitation has been an objective of cancer care since the National Cancer Act in 1971. I think we are seeing more about it in the media because more and more people are living with cancer. Cancer survivors want to live like anyone else. They want to be active in their families, at work, at church and in the pursuit of their interests, just like they did before their diagnosis. However, successful cancer treatment may result in some changes, limitations perhaps, and people with cancer need help overcoming these as much as possible.

Read more about rehabilitation in the Spring 2013 issue of Thrive.


ThriveCoverThrive magazine is a quarterly publication of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, offering inspirational patient stories, news and information on programs and services, tips on coping and living with cancer and more. Find Thrive in the Cancer Center or online.



CCC 25 years button150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan for cancer patient care. Seventeen multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.