HOSPITAL QUIRONSALUD Torrevieja has launched an integrated programme within its multidisciplinary oncology platform in an effort to reassure cancer sufferers that rehabilitation can improve their quality of life after diagnosis and prevent possible future disabilities.
Backed by a team of 30 top specialists, the Hospital now receives patients from throughout Spain, Europe and beyond for its ground breaking rehabilitation programmes.
The treatments of cancer produces physical, emotional and psychic changes interfering with the daily life of the patient and their relatives, presenting some complications such as: acute or chronic pain, fatigue, mobility deficit, lymphedema, edema, sleep disturbances, Vesico-sphincter dysfunctions, cardiorespiratory alterations, neuropathies, muscular weakness, depression or cognitive deterioration, among others.
Oncological rehabilitation is highly recommended in any cancer treatment process, since it can reduce the disability resulting from the unwanted effects of the healing process.
There is solid scientific evidence that supports its implementation in its different forms of intervention (preventive, restorative, supportive, palliative) provided there is no clear clinical contraindication.
According to Dr. Lucía Fernández Cuesta, ideally the oncologic patient should receive rehabilitation when the cancer is diagnosed in order for it to be successful “The biggest problem is that patients do not usually talk about their discomfort to the doctor, since They think that is part of the burden that has to pay to survive the cancer.
The program has a doctor specializing in cancer rehabilitation and an entire interdisciplinary rehabilitation team to provide support to cancer patients in order to improve their functionality, reduce the impact of the disease and provide them Quality of life, in addition, training is also given to their families.
The treatment of multidisciplinary oncological rehabilitation must be directed in two ways: Prevention and integral rehabilitation. Prevention is achieved by means of measures to avoid the establishment of disabling or causing more damage independently of the prognosis of life.
It begins with a review of the oncological history of the patient, taking into account the diagnoses and treatments received, then a complete assessment of the patient’s health status is made (general condition and skin, neurological, osteomuscular and osteoarticular situation, fatigue related to Cancer).
Once the patient is diagnosed with cancer, prior to receiving medical and / or surgical treatment, he / she must undergo an exercise, education and information program in order to improve his / her basic condition, as well as the knowledge of possible damage that they could be left with.
Patients living with cancer as a chronic disease and those in remission or survivors are also candidates to receive a rehabilitation program to help them manage treatment-related conditions and improve their immune system
Among the benefits after receiving a rehabilitative treatment is more independence in daily activities, support to adapt to actual and / or potential losses due to cancer and its treatment, improving physical strength, helping to compensate for the related limitations with the illness and the side effects of treatment, help in managing pain, contributing to decrease cancer-related fatigue, decreasing frequency and time of hospitalizations, and helping with symptom management. Cognitive problems, among others.
On the other hand, the most commonly used techniques are manual lymphatic drainage, presotherapy, school lymphedema, energy-saving techniques for fatigue associated with cancer and therapeutic physical exercise, among others.
Therapy involves physiotherapy (individualized kinesitherapy, reeducation of gait), occupational therapy (training in daily life activities, prevention of fatigue, home adaptations, technical aids, speech therapy (speech and language disorders, swallowing). Pain control.
In addition to the above, the rehabilitation physician can intervene in the control of cancer pain, osteoporosis (prevention of fractures) and cardiovascular health (through exercise recommendations).
Finally, Dr. Fernández emphasizes that “it is important to emphasize in the oncologic rehabilitation the flexibility during the treatments because the clinical situation of each patient changes day by day. Although working together we can achieve functional independence and a quicker reincorporation back into normal life.”
Oncology rehabilitation is integrated within the oncology platform composed of a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 Top level specialists and leading technological equipment such as PET-CT, intraoperative radiotherapy (Mobetron), personalized pharmacotherapy, genetic counseling or the genetic room that has made an international reference for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.