Occupational Therapy and Oncology Rehabilitation
Clients diagnosed with cancer who undergo medically prescribed and supervised treatments may find themselves experiencing side effects and complaints including:
- Sensory complaints: decrease or altered sensation or feeling in hands and feet
- Mood management: experiencing changes in temperament, fear, anxiety, depression.
- Cognitive complaints including: difficulties with memory, attention and concentration, speed of thinking. Clients who have undergone chemotherapy often refer to these issues as: "chemo-brain."
These complaints on their own, or in combination, may impact an individual’s ability to return to their daily living activities including: taking care of themselves and their families, return to work, and returning to leisure pursuits: doing what matters to them! Occupational Therapists (OT) are university trained rehabilitation professionals specializing in assisting our clients to address their functional issues and difficulties in daily living activities as a result of illness and medical related issues.
Treatment specifically focuses on helping our clients achieve a successful return to meaningful daily living activities. OTs focus on our client’s abilities and difficulties with performance of any daily living activity of concern from basic self-care, to work and leisure, then working to developing a plan of care: to help slow or prevent decline in their abilities, to solve problems they are facing, and to help restore and support improved performance whenever possible.
Examples of possible activities of concern could be:
- Difficulties opening jars when preparing meals due to hand weakness and impaired feeling/sensation;
- Complaints of memory and concentration issues impacting their ability to recall information such as forgetting to complete tasks, or forgetting items when you go shopping;
- Uncertainty about how to proceed with return to work after a lengthy absence.
As an OT, Byron may assist his client in coordinating care, developing a plan including directions from your medical team including: your oncologist and family physician, and provide recommendations and communications with other healthcare professionals such as Physiotherapists and Psychologists, to support a well-coordinated treatment plan.
To ensure rehabilitation services are offered at an appropriate time and manner during your treatment and recovery, a medical prescription is required from family or supervising physician.Physician Referral Form
Byron has over a decade of experience working with clients at different stages of cancer care, working both on an outpatient, and homecare settings. He currently offers a community based, home care rehabilitation service which provides opportunity to work with his clients on functional issues at their home, work and in the community.
Byron also specializes in Lymphedema management, a medical condition that may develop with various cancer diagnoses and treatments. Byron has integrated Lymphedema treatment including complete decongestive therapy and Lymphedema graduated compression garment fitting into oncology rehabilitation services. Learn more about Byron’s experience.