Leigh performs cancer rehab exercisesTIRR Memorial Hermann and the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network offer comprehensive rehabilitation for those affected by cancer in the inpatient, outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient medical clinic settings.

We create individualized treatment programs that optimize a patient’s journey to success in achieving personal goals, whether they are newly diagnosed, undergoing cancer treatments or following treatments. We provide an environment that gives patients, their families and caregivers the opportunity to participate in important life roles and enhance their quality of life.

Our program is one of only a few in the country to work with patients before (Prehabilitation), during and after cancer treatments, coordinating rehabilitation with the patients and their medical team.

How Does the Cancer Rehabilitation Program Maximize Patient Outcomes?

TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Cancer Rehabilitation Program maximizes patient outcomes by providing:

  • An integrated, collaborative approach by our interdisciplinary team
  • Evidence-based interventions through individual and group therapy sessions
  • Prehabilitation to improve the patient’s physical and emotional health in preparation for the challenges ahead such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy
  • Cognitive rehabilitation to address changes such as “chemo brain” or “brain fog”
  • Community reintegration (return to work and independence)
  • Support groups, counseling, education classes and individualized training for patients, families and caregivers
  • Facilities and equipment tailored to meet the needs of individuals with cancer
  • Discharge planning, which can consist of outpatient rehabilitation, outpatient community wellness programs or support care

What Types of Cancer Rehabilitation Are Available?

Cancer Prehabilitation

TIRR Memorial Hermann offers cancer prehabilitation for individuals who are newly diagnosed with cancer before they start their cancer treatments. The goal of cancer prehabilitation is to provide rehabilitation assessments that establish a baseline functional level, identify impairments and provide interventions that promote physical and psychological health to prevent or lessen the severity of anticipated treatment-related problems that could lead to later disability.

Cancer prehabilitation has many potential benefits that may include:

  • improvement of physical and psychological health outcomes
  • improvement of functional abilities
  • reduction of pain
  • lessening of emotional stress
  • prevention of hospital readmissions
  • improved quality of life

We have a knowledgeable outpatient oncology-dedicated interdisciplinary team that includes:

  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Speech-language pathologist

During the prehabilitation assessment, the clinician will determine a patient’s baseline status and design interventions that improve functional limitations before cancer treatment begins. Prehabilitation may include, but not limited to any of the following:

  • Strengthening of weak core, arm and leg muscles, swallowing muscles
  • Cardiovascular endurance training
  • Range of motion and stretching exercises
  • Fatigue management and energy conservation techniques
  • Functional mobility training
  • Memory and attention strategies
  • Emotional status management

Prehabilitation services should not delay the start of cancer treatments. A prescription from a doctor is needed for all prehabilitation services.

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

TIRR Memorial Hermann offers outpatient rehabilitation for breast cancer survivors. An individualized treatment program is created to optimize a patient’s journey to success in achieving personal goals, at the time of diagnosis, during and after cancer treatment. We provide an environment that gives patients, their families and caregivers the opportunity to participate in important life roles and get back to the life they love.

We have a knowledgeable outpatient oncology-dedicated interdisciplinary team which may include:

  • Occupational therapist
  • Certified lymphedema therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Chaplain

Breast cancer survivors facing any of these challenges may be appropriate for cancer rehabilitation:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty moving arms for dressing, bathing, grooming, positioning for radiographs
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Joint pain
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteopenia/osteoporosis

The Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program maximizes patient outcomes by providing assessment and treatments before, during and after cancer treatment, including follow-up in these areas:

  • Arm mobility
  • Sensation and fine motor coordination
  • Activity tolerance
  • Strengthening and conditioning
  • Education and support
  • Lymphedema
  • Balance

What Are Some Challenges the Cancer Rehabilitation Program Addresses?

Our Cancer rehabilitation program meets the challenges many cancer survivors face, such as:

  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Lymphedema
  • Deconditioning
  • Decreased walking ability
  • Pain
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Decreased strength, balance and/or coordination
  • Peripheral neuropathy/plexopathy
  • Diminished oral motor skills
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Community reintegration

Cancer Rehabilitation Program Team

We have a knowledgeable outpatient oncology-dedicated interdisciplinary team that may include:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Certified lymphedema therapist
  • Speech language pathologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Vocational counselor
  • Wheelchair seating and positioning specialist
  • Chaplain

Additional team members of an inpatient stay may include:

  • Affiliated rehabilitation physician
  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Therapeutic recreation therapist
  • Music therapist
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Case Manager
  • Nutritionist

We also offer consultation with a cancer rehabilitation physician at the Outpatient Medical Clinic who can assist cancer survivors with the following:

  • Development and coordination of an interdisciplinary plan of care to meet your unique needs
  • Preservation and restoration of function
  • Management of cancer or cancer treatment-related impairments
  • Health promotion (physical activity and nutrition

Patient Stories

  • Leigh Rozell

    On Making the Breast Cancer Treatment Decision: A Personal Story

    July 19, 2017

    Leigh Rozelle found the lump purely by accident, just three days before Christmas. As she crossed her arms, she felt a golf ball-size knot on the outer side of her left breast. My family practitioner was able to squeeze me into her schedule the very next day,” says Rozelle, who is 38. “When she e...

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  • Natalie Franker

    Therapy Gives Natalie Fraker Strength and a Boost of Confidence

    September 23, 2015

    A couple of months shy of her fourth birthday, Natalie Fraker’s voice grew a little hoarse. An endoscopic examination by an otolaryngologist revealed a partially paralyzed vocal cord. On biopsy, it was identified as a grade II astrocytoma, a tumor that arises from the star-shaped cells that...

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Nationally Ranked Rehabilitation

For the 31st consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 3 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.

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