Cancer and its treatments can sometimes have lasting effects on daily performance including physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning. The Department of Rehabilitation Services has more than 100 oncology rehabilitation professionals and staff dedicated to optimizing the physical abilities and quality of life of people affected by cancer.
Rehabilitation Services offers physical therapy and occupational therapy for patients of all ages and with any type of cancer who are experiencing problems related to cancer or the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Services are provided to both inpatients and outpatients at our main building at the Medical Center and at our Houston-area locations.
Our facility includes workout equipment, private treatment rooms and a model apartment that includes a kitchen, laundry room, bedroom and bathroom for training.
Physical therapy can assist with:
- Mobility: walking safely in and outside the home and how to safely climb stairs
- Equipment: providing and recommending the proper equipment for walking such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers
- Pain management and symptom control: pain reduction modalities, such as heat/cold applications and electrical stimulation
- Physical abilities: hands-on techniques to improve strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and coordination
- Home exercise programs: design specialized exercise programs to address the problems affecting the patient’s function
- Family training: instruct family members/caregivers on how to safely assist patients in transfers and during walking or exercise
- Lymphedema services: prevention and treatment for edema and lymphedema, including manual lymphatic drainage and custom garment fitting
Occupational therapy can assist with:
- Self-care and home care activities: being able to bathe, dress and groom yourself and to manage your home and care for yourself or others
- Fatigue management: strategies to manage the fatigue caused by cancer and its treatment allowing you to do more of life’s important daily tasks
- Cognitive and visual rehabilitation: strategies to manage mild to severe problems in thinking and seeing caused by cancer or chemotherapy
- Equipment: wheelchairs, bathroom equipment, and assistive devices like a reacher or sock aid
- Orthotics: off-the-shelf or custom-made splints to promote healing, positioning, rest or pain relief to arms and legs
- Physical performance: improve your dexterity, gross coordination, strength and range of motion in arms and upper body
- Social and emotional performance: improve coping strategies for managing the stress and problems that come with cancer or its treatments in performing daily roles such as parent, spouse, worker, student or volunteer
Rehabilitation services are available to all MD Anderson patients who need help regaining physical function. Ask your primary care center team about a referral. If you're not sure if rehabilitation services are right for you, talk to your doctor or fill our self-assessment form.
Contact and Location Information
MD Anderson offers rehabilitation services at its Houston-area locations and in the Main Building, Floor 1, near Elevator F. Get driving and walking directions.
Are you a current patient with questions about care from rehabilitation services? Please call us at 713-792-3192. Individuals interested in becoming an MD Anderson patient can request an appointment online.