What’s Involved in Cancer Rehabilitation?

What's involved in cancer rehabilitation

Cancer treatment can cause physical, psychological and cognitive impacts on your day-to-day life, making it hard to get back to what you love. Cancer rehabilitation can help you regain control over many aspects of your life, both during and after cancer treatment.

Find out what’s involved in cancer rehabilitation and how it can help, and reach out to us at MetroRehab for specialised support services.

Cancer rehabilitation options

Many cancer centres and care hospitals offer rehabilitation services, but there are different care options available depending on the level of support you may need. The two common types of rehabilitation include:

Inpatient rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation means you’ll be staying on the premises of a rehabilitation centre before returning home. This will allow you to have 24/7 support in a caring environment, inclusive of meals and other amenities. The length of your stay will depend upon how quickly you achieve your rehabilitation goals. Patients are encouraged to transition to outpatient rehabilitation after this to maintain ongoing health.

Outpatient rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation is also known as day rehabilitation, as it’s for patients who do not require overnight stays. Day patients will still participate in customised rehabilitation programs with the help of a specialist and will have access to various amenities like gyms or pools. Day programs can be accessed following acute hospital admission, inpatient rehabilitation or from your own home.

You may also like to consider the location of the centre if you are an outpatient having to travel, as well as your insurance coverage which may differ across programs.

How cancer rehabilitation can help

Cancer and its treatment can cause a wide range of symptoms, which will differ between each individual and the type of cancer. However, there are ways to help manage these impacts including support for mobility, as well as physical and cognitive effects.


The ability to move around can be impacted when going through cancer treatments. Rehabilitation will support your capacity to do every day movements such as:

  • Walking
  • Showering
  • Getting out of a chair
  • Getting out of bed
  • Navigating stairs
  • Getting dressed


Cancer and its treatment can, unfortunately, cause various physical problems, however, rehabilitation can support these, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Range of motion
  • Endurance
  • Balance
  • Chewing and swallowing
  • Numbness
  • Weakness


Cancer rehabilitation can also help you to strengthen any loss in your cognitive ability, such as:

  • Improving multitasking
  • Thinking more clearly or less foggy
  • Supporting memory

Treatment plans

Treatment plans for cancer rehabilitation generally involve similar key components, to get you on the road to recovery. These often include the following:

Initial appointment

Rehabilitation treatment will start with an initial appointment much like a consultation following a GP or specialist referral. This will involve pre-treatment assessment, which is essentially a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history and current concerns. This will mostly be a conversation with your health professional asking questions, however they may also undertake some basic physical examinations and evaluations. You’ll likely be asked to fill out detailed forms beforehand and you may also wish to write down any questions or concerns to ask your healthcare professional.

Recommended therapies

What’s involved in a person’s rehabilitation program will vary between individuals, but will often include a range of therapy exercises and techniques as well as assisted devices. This may involve relearning lost skills and new ways to adapt to any environmental challenges. Your individualised program is all about supporting you, so don’t be shy to ask questions.

Appointments needed

Much like program differences, the number of appointments and how frequent they are will depend on your individual needs. Your rehabilitation professional will help you determine the best timespan, whether you only need a few or several.


To make sure you’re on the right track, some rehabilitation appointments will focus on checking your progress. This is because your rehabilitation program should be adjusted as you reach goals or experience different symptoms.

Find the right rehabilitation for you

The ultimate goal of cancer rehabilitation is to improve your quality of life, keeping you as independent and active as possible. Starting rehabilitation will enable you to work with specialised professionals who will support you along your rehabilitation journey. If this sounds like it might be right for you, get in touch with us at MetroRehab where our trusted team of professionals will create a customised care plan for your rehabilitation needs.

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