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Rehabbing after cancer

First Aired: June 29, 2014

Dr. Julie Silver

Dr. Julie Silver

Cancer survivorship is fraught with challenges – lingering treatment side effects that can affect both family and work life. How can you manage this re-entry effectively? For other health issues, such as heart disease, patients participate in rehabilitation programs. So, why not use that approach in cancer, too? Dr. Julie Silver is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and creator of the STAR Program (Survivorship Training And Rehab) provided through Oncology Rehab Partners. Based on her own experiences as a breast cancer survivor, she developed a multidisciplinary cancer rehabilitation program to address myriad quality of life issues that can affect survivors’ ability to fully recover. Dr. Silver partners with hospitals and cancer centers around the country, helping them implement the STAR Program, so survivors will have help healing after treatments.

According to Dr. Silver, rehab should help survivors with pain, anxiety, fatigue, cognitive impairments, range-of-motion issues, depression and more. She believes an integrative approach is most effective. “Before you accept the ‘new normal,’ ask about cancer rehabilitation.”

Articles and resources on cancer rehab:
New opportunities in cancer rehabilitation care – Rehab Management, September 4, 2013
How to get healthy after the cancer treatments are done – Washington Post, July 29, 2013
Concept of ‘prehabilitation’ gaining acceptance as part of continuum of cancer care – Oncology Times, September 3, 2013
What is cancer rehabilitation? – Health Guru
▪ How to get cancer rehab – Health Guru
Cancer treatment side effects – Health Guru
When survival isn’t enough: The role of rehabilitation in cancer care – Coping with Cancer magazine, May/June 2014

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