What is Cancer Rehabilitation?


Most people with cancer need rehabilitation at least some time. Cancer rehabilitation is all that can make life as good as possible during and after the treatment of the disease. Rehabilitation can mean different things

Cancer rehabilitation measures that can prevent or reduce the negative impact that the disease can have on you and your loved ones in different ways. All parts of life and life count. Here are some examples of what cancer rehabilitation can be:

  • Feelings and thoughts.  For example, it is common to feel anxious or angry or to start thinking about questions such as: Why did I just get cancer? Many people get the answers and the support they need from talking a lot to the doctor and the contact nurse. Some need additional support during different stages of the disease. Here you can read more about managing thoughts and feelings about cancer.
  • Body.  The disease and treatment can affect the body in different ways. Many problems can be remedied, relieved or prevented by rehabilitation. It can be, for example, lymphedema, fatigue, pain, stomach or intestines, sexual or fertility problems, memory or concentration or food problems.
  • Lifestyle.  Moving is important in all cancers and can prevent, alleviate or prevent many different types of problems. You can get help with physical activities and physical therapy in cancer. You can also get help if, for example, you need to quit smoking or change your alcohol habits.
  • Practical support.  You may need help with existence to work. It can mean different things, such as some aids, special dental care, travel services or a wig if the treatment causes you to lose hair for a period of time. Here you can read more about practical support for cancer.
  • The economy.  Your opportunities to support you can be affected for a shorter or longer period. You may need advice and guidance about sick leave and work or any other financial support that may be available.

The needs can change

Your needs may change over time, depending on what happens to the disease and treatment. Some need rehabilitation for a short time in connection with treatment. Others may need rehabilitation long after treatment for the disease has ended.

You may need rehabilitation that differs so much from what someone else in the same situation needs. How do I get rehabilitation?

The contact nurse is your support in cancer care. Together with the doctor, you make a care plan. The care plan should describe, among other things, your needs for rehabilitation and what needs you may have later. It should also be stated in the care plan on how to get support and help. The care plan should be updated every time something changes that are important to you, such as your needs for rehabilitation. It should say in your journal that you have received a care plan.

Different specialists can work together in teams based on the needs you have. Here are examples of such specialists:

  • occupational
  • dietician
  • physiotherapist
  • curator
  • speech therapist
  • psychologist
  • sexologist
  • hospital priest
  • stoma
  • ur therapist.

The contact nurse can guide you to the people who may be important for your rehabilitation.

The contact nurse can also provide support calls if you need to.

Talk to your contact nurse or doctor if you have any suggestions about your cancer rehabilitation. Rehabilitation after a long time

The need for rehabilitation can sometimes come a long time after the treatment of the disease is complete. It’s called late effects. Ask the health care provider to tell you and write down what late effects are common after the treatment you need. Then you are better prepared if the late effects come.

Seek medical attention if you suffer from a long period of time. Most late effects can be alleviated. Some late effects can be prevented. Rehabilitation for related persons

If you are related, you may also receive some rehabilitation. The contact nurse can provide support calls or advice on where to get more or other support. Here you can read more about support for relatives of cancer. You can meet with the curator for guidance on what support is available if you participate in the care.

You are welcome to attend, for example, a doctor’s visit, if the person receiving care says yes to it.

Children who are related

Children have the right to get information about a relative having cancer. It is the responsibility of the care, but the person with the illness or another adult can also be the one talking to the child. The curator can help if, for example, the preschool or school needs information. The curator can also provide guidance if the child needs more support, for example from student health or in a support group for children. On the Cancer Foundation’s website, you can read more about talking to children about cancer. Different ways to get rehabilitation

You can get some rehabilitation together with others. Sometimes it is possible to go to a rehabilitation home. There is also rehabilitation that is arranged outside the care.

Rehabilitation in group

It may feel good to share your experience with others. Many hospitals organize courses where you can get rehabilitation in groups. There are different courses, for example for people who are treated for the same type of cancer or courses that are also for close associates. 

Rehabilitation in groups can involve lectures, discussions and practical exercises. On the courses, for example, you can find out more about the side effects of treatment and how you can relieve them, emotional reactions, exercise, food and what support you can get from society in general. The groups can be led by nurses, doctors, curators or physiotherapists.

Rehabilitation outside care

Outside care, there may be various types of support. Patient associations sometimes organize courses that make it easier to live a good life with cancer and while receiving cancer treatment. It can be, for example, conversation groups, cooking courses, yoga, stress management or garden therapy.

There are also courtyards for people with cancer. A stay often lasts one to three weeks. Then you can be offered a program with, for example, physical training, training, and conversations. Some county councils can pay all or part of the stay. The supply varies

How much support and rehabilitation you can get from the care depends on where you live and where you receive treatment. Talk to the contact nurse or the curator about what may be suitable for you and what opportunities are available.

Contribution to rehabilitation

There are grants from, for example, various funds and foundations that you can apply for if the care does not pay for the support you want. The curator can tell you where to apply for such grants. For example, there is the Cancer Rehabilitation Fund that can pay for a stay in a rehabilitation home if your home county council does not.

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