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The Johns Hopkins Cancer Rehabilitation Program aims to help cancer patients overcome the effects of cancer and treatment on daily function and quality of life. Whether you are newly diagnosed or long finished with treatment, our team can create a custom rehabilitation plan to address your symptoms and daily challenges.
Cancer Rehabilitation: Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- Our multidisciplinary team includes rehabilitation physicians, therapists and psychologists experienced in working with cancer patients and their families.
- We use innovative, noninvasive technologies that allow us to diagnose lymphedema (swelling) in early stages, and a separate device that uses negative pressure to aid with lymphedema treatment.
- We offer several convenient locations, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building — each in downtown Baltimore — and Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland.
- Thanks to our close partnership with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, we can provide seamless transition from treatment to rehabilitation for patients with breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer, leukemia and many other oncologic conditions.
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Rehabilitation After Cancer Treatment | Q&A with Laurie Fitz
Our oncology therapists are uniquely qualified to understand the effects of cancer and cancer treatments on daily life. Physical therapist Laurie Fitz discusses some of the ways cancer rehabilitation can help people pursue their desired lifestyle despite physical or other limitations caused by cancer or cancer treatment.
Cancer-Related Symptoms and Conditions We Help You Manage
- cognitive difficulties (also known as “chemo brain”), including problems with memory, concentration, attention and learning new skills
- physical difficulties, including decline in balance, difficulty walking, poor endurance, muscle spasms, weakness, fatigue, or adjustment to wearing a prosthetic
- uncomfortable sensations, including pain, joint stiffness, and numbness in hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- bowel and bladder issues
- radiation fibrosis: thickening of connective tissue
- lymphedema: swelling due to lymphatic system damage
- scar tissue restriction following surgery
- swallowing disorders, and voice and speaking difficulties
“The care I received from Marlena Casey allowed me to resolve cording and lymphedema issues after surgery and radiation. Just as important as my physical healing, though, was my increased sense of confidence as I learned about exercises and lifestyle modifications that helped me to maintain my normal day-to-day life. I cannot say enough good things about Ms. Casey and the PM&R Department!”
- A grateful patient
Our Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Rehabilitation
It usually takes expertise and experience of several specialists to address all of your cancer-related symptoms and challenges. Our goal is to help you stay active and maintain the best quality of life possible before, during and years after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and other cancer treatments.
- Our rehabilitation physicians are experts in creating programs tailored to your needs and health goals.
- Our physical therapists can help you address fatigue, weakness, pain, lack of balance and similar symptoms related to cancer.
- Our occupational therapists focus on helping you participate in daily activities such as dressing and bathing, while strengthening your fine motor skills, saving energy, and improving memory and sight.
- Our speech-language therapists can help you manage speech, swallowing and communication problems that may result from cancer or cancer treatment.
- Our rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists conduct cognitive, behavioral and psychological assessments to help you manage emotional and cognitive aspects of undergoing cancer treatment.
- Our prosthetists, orthotists and amputee rehabilitation experts can help you recover after limb loss or adjust to your new orthotic or prosthetic device.
Pediatric Cancer Rehabilitation
Every year thousands of U.S. children are diagnosed with cancer. At the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, we believe cancer survival begins at diagnosis and stress the importance of including physical and occupational therapy in the cancer treatment process. Our therapists work closely with the medical team to provide continuous care from inpatient admissions to outpatient follow-up.
Our physical therapists specialize in vincristine-related neuropathy and its effects on your child’s ability to walk, especially climbing stairs. While addressing tripping and other safety concerns, we also aim to decrease the overall side effects of cancer treatment, helping your child be active, strong and able to play and participate in recreational activities with friends and family as much as possible.
Our Rehabilitation Team
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Back Pain, Cancer Rehabilitation, Joint Pain, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Myofascial Pain, Neck Pain, Neurologic Rehabilitation, Pain Management, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spasticity Management, Transplant Rehabilitation
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Botox Spasticity Treatment, Botulinum Toxin Injections, Cancer Rehabilitation, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Concussion Rehabilitation, Headache, Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy, Joint Pain, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Neurological Restoration, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spasticity Management, Spinal Disorders, Spinal Pain
Laurie Fitz | Physical Therapist Certified in Lymphedema Therapy
Expertise: Cancer Rehabilitation, Lymphedema Management
With Support from Rehabilitation Therapists:
The Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building Tour
The Skip Viragh outpatient cancer clinic represents the future of cancer medicine and is designed as a hub of comprehensive services and clinical research, bringing the very best treatment plan and supportive care to each patient. Our cancer rehabilitation space is on the 10th floor and features the latest in therapy equipment, along with panoramic views of Baltimore.
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