The Cancer Rehabilitation program is dedicated to helping cancer patients return to the highest level of function possible during and following treatment for cancer. Our comprehensive program will address your physical, cognitive, and emotional concerns. The rehabilitation team will develop an individualized program for you to achieve your personal goals.
Our team of skilled therapists, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board-Certified physicians, will work with you and your family to address all your needs. Whether you are a cancer survivor, or have had a new diagnosis of cancer, our team works to identify your functional needs, assess your functional capacity, and work with you to create a personalized rehab treatment plan. This plan helps you achieve your specific goals:
maintaining range of motion and strength
improving balance, posture and gait
improving your communication or swallowing
reducing stress and forming coping mechanisms
managing pain and symptoms of treatment (such as neuropathy, or abnormal sensations in your hands or feet)
increasing your independence with activities
improving your ability to perform activities both at home and in the community
We have a spectrum of services through our comprehensive acute inpatient rehabilitation, subacute rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation programs (including our Aftercare Program), with physicians who specialize in spasticity management, artificial limbs and bracing, wheelchair evaluations, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and acupuncture.
The Cancer Rehabilitation program is unique in its scope of service delivery from inpatient to outpatient with your ability to enter the program from various settings, including acute care, subacute care, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation or hospice. At all levels of care the multidisciplinary team works together to customize a rehabilitation program just for you.
Your Cancer Rehabilitation team includes:
Speech Language Pathologist
Common Diagnoses Associated with Cancer Rehabilitation
Specialized Rehabilitation Services
Head and Neck Cancer Rehabilitation: Recipient of the NJ Speech and Hearing Association Award for Distinguished Clinical Service, our speech language pathologists provide care from diagnosis through treatment, including pre-operative, pre-radiation education for patients with laryngectomy, glossectomy and all other head and neck cancer conditions. Staff are competent in TracheoEsophageal Puncture Prosthesis fitting, esophageal speech, and electrolarynx training. Quality measures (including the ASHA National Outcome Measurement Scale) show how patients who receive swallowing and/or voice therapy at JFK Johnson improve multiple levels compared to other facilities – which contribute significantly to our program’s 98% patient satisfaction rating and improved quality of life outcomes.
Lymphedema Program: Early diagnosis and treatment is essential as lymphedema may be prevented or controlled. Lymphedema can affect the arms and legs as well as the head and neck. Treatment for the majority of patients can be through the skillful application of Compete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is safe, reliable and non-invasive. CDT is performed by licensed physical or occupational therapists that have been specifically trained in these techniques and interventions. The goal of treatment is to reduce swelling and maintain the reduction. Treatment consists of several components: Manual Lymph Drainage, Compression Bandaging, Graduated Compression Garments, Therapeutic Exercise, and Meticulous Skin Care.
Women’s Health/Men’s Health:Comprehensive evaluation and treatment provided for patients who need Pelvic Floor Muscle Rehabilitation. Conditions that may be treated include: urinary and fecal incontinence, constipation, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, or sexual dysfunction.
Spinal Cord Injury: Our team is experienced in treating spinal cord issues related to complications from cancer treatment. (see spinal cord injury link).
Brain Tumor Rehab: For individuals managing or recovering from a brain tumor, our multidisciplinary team who specialize in neurological rehabilitation work with you and your family to determine the most effective therapy program to improve your quality of life and maximize independence.
Homecare & Hospice: the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute works closely with the JFK Haven Hospice Team to ease the transition home with physical therapy and speech therapy to help the patient be as independent and safe as possible.
Q. What does the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at JFK/JRI offer?
A. The Cancer Rehabilitation Program at JFK’s JRI offers a continuum of care from JFK acute care to acute inpatient rehabilitation to subacute rehabilitation to outpatient or homecare. Patients can come in to the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at any of these points of care.
Q. Can I participate in the Rehabilitation Program while undergoing active chemotherapy or radiation?
A. Since inpatient rehabilitation is a comprehensive therapy program it can be intense and usually patients find it difficult to actively participate in the inpatient rehab program. Therefore the chemotherapy/radiation therapy program is separate from the comprehensive rehab program.
Q. What type of therapy will I receive?
Your therapy program will be tailored to meet your individual needs.
“I didn’t realize how important speaking and swallowing were until I lost them both during throat surgery for my cancer. I am eternally grateful to the speech therapists at JFK for meeting with me before the surgery, helping me through my swallowing problems and giving me my voice back!”
“I shied away from my active lifestyle after prostate surgery. I was self-conscious about urine leakage and needed to use pads for protection. I used biofeedback which really helped me to see what I needed to do to improve my muscles. After a few visits I returned to racquetball and household projects.”
“The speech therapist at JFK helped me through the toughest time of my life: brain cancer recurrence. She took the time to get to know me so she could help me say what I wanted to communicate to my friends and family, teach my husband how to help me get out the words I needed, and give me hope. I am in remission and want to take the time to thank the speech therapists at JFK. You are the BEST!”