What is Cancer Rehabilitation?
Cancer Rehabilitation providers are experts in treating the musculoskeletal, neurologic, cognitive, and other side effects of cancer or the treatment of cancer (including radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and more).
The University of Michigan has one of the most robust and fastest growing Cancer Rehabilitation programs in the country, featuring a large team of physicians, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, and more.
Symptoms commonly treated in Cancer Rehabilitation clinics include, but are not limited to:
- Joint pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Pain from tumors
- Fibrosis and scarring (often from radiation or surgery)
- Muscle cramps
- Late effects of radiation therapy
- Cognitive impairment ("Chemobrain" and others)
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Depression and anxiety as it relates to changes in your physical or cognitive function
- Jaw opening problems (aka "trismus")
What to Expect
Since everyone has a unique medical history, you will be given an individualized plan to help you manage and recover from symptoms associated with cancer.
Typically, this begins at a clinic visit with a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician -- sometimes called a physiatrist -- but can also include many other team members. Your rehabilitation physician will also help you to get to any other providers that may be able to help.
At your clinic visit, you will meet the physician, who will have already reviewed your previous cancer history and treatment. After a discussion about your symptoms and your goals, you Cancer Rehabilitation Physician will approach your problems and work with YOU to determine what the best course of action is for restoring your quality of life. This may involve any combination of therapies, procedures, exercises, medications, and more. It may also involve running diagnostic tests to better understand your problem.
Sometimes, you will be referred directly to an occupational therapist or physical therapist from your oncology team. Depending on what your symptoms are, your therapist will help guide you through the treatment. The University of Michigan Cancer Rehabilitation program has physical and occupational therapists with specific expertise and years of experience treating patients with a history of cancer, and will tailor your program specifically to your needs.
Cancer Exercise Personal Training
This is for cancer patients ready to begin an exercise program to increase or maintain endurance, strength, and flexibility. Contact Alyssa Shomsky, BS, ACSM Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer for more information. A doctor's clearance is required for participation.
For Doctor's Clearance Form, click here.
Transitions Training Studio
325 East Eisenhower Parkway Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Alyssa Shomsky, BS, CET, CPT
Phone: (734) 763-3477
Cancer Rehabilitation Team
Sean Smith, MD: Cancer Rehabilitation Physician
Cody Andrews, MD: Cancer Rehabilitation Physician
Make an Appointment for Cancer Rehabilitation
Contact Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department: 734-936-7175 and ask to be seen by a Cancer Rehabilitation physician for a physician assessment to design a rehabilitation plan and address your symptoms. Our clinic sites include:
Cancer Symptom Management & Supportive Care at Med Inn
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.C320 (click here for a map)
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (877) 907-0859
Note: If you are unable to reach a clinic number, call our operators at (734) 936-4000.
Michigan Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Burlington
325 E Eisenhower Pkwy Ste 100 (click here for a map)
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-3364
Beginning in August 2017, Cancer Rehabilitation is expanding to pediatric patients as well. You and your child will be seen by a Cancer Rehabilitation Physician and a Pediatric Rehabilitation Physician. Clinics are held alternating Mondays and Tuesdays in Mott Children’s Hospital.
If you're interested in our research or educational efforts related to cancer rehabilitation, please visit our devoted pages for those areas: