Cancer Rehabilitation

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
  • Neuropathy
  • Muscle weakness and pain
  • Pain from tumors
  • Fibrosis and scarring (often from radiation or surgery)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Deconditioning
  • Lymphedema
  • 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")
  • . . . and many more  

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 Program

This is for people ready to begin an exercise program to build up endurance, strength, and improve general well-being and health. Located in the Burlington Building. Contact the Transitions Studio and mention that you are interested in the Cancer Exercise Program. You may need a physician's clearance before participating. 

Transitions Training Studio

325 East Eisenhower Parkway Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: (734) 232-1262
Email: PMR-transitions@med.umich.edu   

Prehabilitation

This is for people want to maintain strength before, or as they receive cancer treatment. Contact the Transitions Studio and mention that you are interested in the Cancer Prehabilitation Program. You may need a physician's clearance before participating.     


Cancer Rehabilitation Team

Dr. Sean Smith

Sean Smith, MD: Cancer Rehabilitation Physician

Cody Andrews, MD

Cody Andrews, MD: Cancer Rehabilitation Physician

Dr. Sarah Money

SarahMoney, MD: Rehabilitation Physician, Cancer Spine Specialist

Alecia Daunter, MD: Pediatric Rehabilitation Fellow


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
Phone: 734-936-7175    

Pediatrics

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:

Research Education