Oncology Rehabilitation Services


During cancer treatment our rehabilitation team is here to help if you are experiencing difficulty with…

WeaknessLoss of motion
BalancePain
FatigueCoordination
Speech and SwallowingLymphedema


Our services include:

REHABILITATION
PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical therapists are the members of the team that evaluate and treat the loss of physical function that may occur with cancer and its treatment.

Physical therapy evaluation and treatment is available for the following conditions:
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Decreased balance
  • Postural changes
  • Pain
  • Formation of scar tissue
  • Lymphedema
  • Fatigue related to cancer treatment
An individualized treatment plan is developed for each patient with the goal of restoring optimal levels of physical mobility and function. Treatment may include:
  • Exercises to improve strength, joint motion, muscle flexibility, posture, balance and coordination
  • Manual therapy to improve joint and soft tissue flexibility
  • Ambulation training to improve safety and quality of walking, stamina, balance and to reduce fall risk.
  • Use of gym equipment to restore strength, balance and aerobic condition
  • Education in a home exercise program
  • Lymphedema treatment

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

The Occupational Therapists at Boca Community Hospital, Davis Therapy Centers are committed to maximizing the individual’s capabilities and independence. By treating the functional impairments caused by the effects of cancer or side effects cancer treatments our therapists help patients recover their abilities.

The therapist performs an initial evaluation and together with the patient, the patient’s family and the physician formulates a plan of care. An occupational therapy evaluation may consist of the following:
  • Activities of daily living (ADL) assessment
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Bathing
    • Home management
    • Work
  • Adaptive equipment assessment
  • Coordination, strength and endurance to perform ADL’s
  • Sensory and perceptual assessment
Treatment Provided by our Skilled Professionals Include:
  • ADL training
  • Education with use of adaptive devices and equipment
  • Range of motion and strengthening
  • Cognitive and perceptual training
  • Sensory re-education or compensatory techniques (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Patient and family education
  • Pain management
  • Edema management
  • Energy Conservation

SPEECH THERAPY

The speech language pathologists at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Davis Therapy Centers are dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients who have voice, swallowing, language, or cognitive difficulties resulting from their cancer.

They provide
  • Rehabilitation for speech communication and articulation disorders
  • Swallowing therapy/Neuro muscular electrical stimulation to retrain swallowing muscles
  • Voice rehabilitation
  • Assessment and guidance in augmentative speech devices
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
We also have a specially designed program for patients who have swallowing issues during radiation treatment.

Pre-Radiation Consultation
Meet with speech language pathologist for:
  1. Instruction on oral motor exercises
  2. Education on possible side effects
  3. Education on importance of modified barium swallow (MBS) study prior to treatment
  4. Role of speech pathologist and you as the patient during treatment process
  5. Importance of continuing to swallow during treatment
  6. Instruction on diet consistencies if indicated per MBS
  7. Education on signs/symptoms of aspiration
During Treatment Consulations
Consultation with speech-language pathologist will only be scheduled if patient requests, or if physician recommends a mid-treatment consult due to swallowing concerns.

Post-Radiation Session
Modified Barium Swallow. If the results of the MBS indicate a dysphagia, then evaluation by the Speech-language pathologist is recommended.

LYMPHEDEMA THERAPY

Lymphedema is swelling of a body part that can occur when cancer and cancer treatments affect the lymph vessels and nodes. Depending on the site of the cancer, swelling may occur in the arm, chest/breast, head and neck, groin and leg. Evaluation and treatments are provided at both LCI Sandler Pavilion and Davis Therapy Centers

Treatment of lymphedema is called Complete Decongestive Physical Therapy and may include:
  • Manual Lymph Drainage
  • Compression Bandaging
  • Compression Garments
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Skin Care
  • Patient Education
In addition to individual evaluation and treatment, Lymphedema lectures are offered every other month and provide basic education about the condition, sign and symptoms, treatment and risk reduction. These lectures are open to the public and free of charge. Please contact 561.955.2100 Susan Lanham PT/CLT x6170 or Lisa Berman MSPT/CLT x6161 for more information.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

The Comprehensive Center for Pain Management specializes in the reduction of pain with a focus on improving quality of life. Our highly-skilled team of board-certified specialists includes anesthesiologists and psychologists. Working together with nurses, radiology technicians and therapists, our professional staff is committed to providing a comprehensive multi-disciplinary, individualized, plan of care for each patient.

Our hospital-based outpatient center for the management of chronic and cancer pain offers interventional treatment, medication management and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This dedicated facility includes a specialized procedure suite with advanced monitoring and imaging equipment. We offer procedures such as nerve blocks, neurolysis, trigger point infiltrations, epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, sympathetic ganglion blocks, and spinal cord stimulator trials. Our psychologist provides assessment and support on-site. The multidisciplinary treatment approach, which includes psychological interventions, has positive long-term effects in controlling chronic pain. The goal is to help patients develop strategies for relaxation, managing stress and coping with pain. Our pain management staff also provides inpatient consultations for complex pain problems. Patients may be referred by their physician or may call the Comprehensive Center for Pain Management directly at 561.955.PAIN (7246).


INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES
MASSAGE

The Massage Therapists at Boca Raton Regional Hospital understand the obstacles facing each individual and their caregivers during cancer treatment, recovery and beyond. Our skilled massage therapists have been specially trained in Oncology Massage.

How Can Massage Help:
According to the National Institutes of Health, massage may decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue. Relaxation, reduced nausea, reduced pain and improved quality of life have been reported in some randomized studies among patients with cancer.

Oncology Massage specifically addresses the full spectrum of cancer-related issues: the physical consequences of cancer, the side-effects of various treatments and the psychosocial & emotional consequences. 

Initial effects may be calming, providing relaxation, relieving discomforts from muscle tension or from surgery, as well as, invigorating by increasing a sense of energy or emotional well-being.

How Is Oncology Massage Different:
A one-on-one, gentle, comfort-oriented massage is tailored to accommodate each individual’s present condition and medical history. Before a session, the massage therapist will take a detailed intake form to review your treatment history, side effects, problems areas, and precautions.

A shorter session may be recommended and the level of pressure may be adjusted to accommodate your present stamina, pain level and comfort.

The therapist will also modify your position to accommodate any surgical or radiation sites, any bone involvement, or any intact medical devices.

Oncology massage can help at any stage of cancer treatment. It provides an opportunity to let go and experience the healing effects of relaxation. You will be cared for with a nurturing therapy that addresses not only the disease, but considers you as a whole person providing a restorative and healing respite during a challenging time.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call our massage department at 561.955.4275.

TAI CHI

Tai Chi is an exercise program that uses a sequence of slow, controlled movements, meditation, and breathing to improve health and well-being.

Benefits:
Tai chi can help cancer patients by increasing awareness of balance, increased strength/endurance and reduced stress. Tai chi can also be used as an adjunct method to cope with pain by promoting relaxation. Like most moderate physical activities, tai chi can improve stamina, muscle tone, agility, and flexibility. Recent reviews of clinical trials show that tai chi practice has many benefits that include improved quality of life, alleviation of pain, and improved flexibility and strength (1) (2). Preliminary data indicate that tai chi improves quality of life in breast cancer survivors (3) and a randomized controlled trial showed that aerobic exercise maintained erythrocyte levels during radiation treatment in breast cancer patients (4).

Description:
Participants perform a series of gentle, deliberate movements, which flow into body positions called forms. Each form derives its name from nature, with names such as “Wave Hands Like Clouds” or “Grasping the Bird’s Tail.” During the exercises, there is a focus on breathing centered in the diaphragm.

Risks:
Tai chi is a relatively safe, moderate physical activity. As with any form of exercise, it is important to be aware of physical limitations. People with cancer and chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease should talk with their doctors before starting any type of therapy that involves movement of joints and muscles.

Tai Chi – American Cancer Society
Sloan-Kettering - Tai Chi


  1. Klein PJ and Adams WD. Comprehensive therapeutic benefits of Taiji: a critical review. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2004; 83(9):735-745.
  2. Taylor-Piliae RE and Froelicher ES. J Cardiovasc Nurs 2004; 19(1):48-57. Effectiveness of Tai Chi exercise in improving aerobic capacity:
    a meta-analysis.
  3. Mustian KM, et al. Tai chi chuan, health-related quality of life and self-esteem: A randomized trial with breast cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer 2004;12:871-6.
  4. Drouin JS, Young TJ, Beeler J, et al. Random control clinical trial on the effects of aerobic exercise training on erythrocyte levels during radiation treatment for breast cancer. Cancer 2006.


Course fee is only $10/class or $48 for a six consecutive week session. To register for the Tai Chi class, please call Davis Therapy Centers at 561.955.5321

GUIDED IMAGERY

Guided imagery sessions at Boca Raton Regional Hospital are facilitated by Marcia Gill, RN, a highly experienced practitioner of visualization and relaxation.

Description:
Guided Imagery is a technique, similar to meditation and self-hypnosis in which a person imagines pictures, sounds, smells, and other sensations associated with reaching a goal. Guided imagery involves a series of relaxation activities used along with visualization of images that are calm and peaceful.

Benefits:
Guided imagery can help to decrease psychological distress, reduce chronic pain, decrease blood pressure and ease stress and anxiety.

Risks:
Therapeutic relaxation techniques can’t take the place of medications or surgery – but, like many alternative therapies, they can provide benefits when used in conjunction with regular medical treatments.

Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

Fee is only $5.00 per session. To register for the Guided Imagery Sessions held at the Lynn Cancer Institute, please call 561.955.5321


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