Nov 12, 2019 1:00 PM

Author: Sonal Oza, MD

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Sonal Oza, MD
“I just wish I could physically take care of myself.”
“I want to walk down the aisle at my son’s wedding.”
“I wish I could work.”
“I want to be fit enough to go on our next family vacation.”

Patients often tell me how a cancer diagnosis affects all aspects of their lives. It not only is a tumultuous, uncertain medical experience. It also disrupts life at home, work, school, and in the community. Cancer and its treatments can impair physical function and can even result in disability.

I’m a physician who specializes in cancer rehabilitation medicine. The goal of this area of medicine is to restore and improve physical function. Cancer rehabilitation doctors pay attention to all the issues that may affect a patient’s ability to function, such as other medical conditions, access to health care services, and your surrounding environment.

We work with each patient on a plan tailored to their goals and current situation. Our goal is to improve symptoms so you can take part in life’s daily activities. Cancer rehabilitation medicine can help patients with many cancer-related issues:

  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction: urgency, incontinence, trouble emptying
  • Fatigue
  • Having a hard time thinking clearly or remembering things
  • Problems with walking or balance
  • Swelling
  • Weakness, pain and stiffness in muscles and joints
  • Neuropathy

What to Expect at the Clinic Visit

The first rehabilitation clinic visit starts with a thorough physical exam. We talk about your goals for improving function, and we discuss the physical accessibility of your home. We may also measure specific physical functions such as walking speed.

What Happens Next

We come up with a rehabilitation plan, which may include these things:

  • Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
  • An exercise prescription
  • Non-opioid pain medication management
  • Injections to help with joint pain or muscle spasms
  • Tests to look for neuropathy and other nerve problems
  • Prescriptions for orthotic braces, prostheses, or assistive devices such as walkers and canes
  • Referrals to other medical specialists

Rehabilitation medicine spans all cancer diagnoses and all phases of care—before, during, and after treatment, including survivorship and end-of-life phases. Cancer rehabilitation doctors can help you get back your independence so you can do the things that are important to you, no matter where you are on your cancer journey.

For appointments with Dr. Oza, please call the following:

cancer care wellness

Cancer touches all of us.

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