Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine Overview

Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine has been defined as “the identification, evaluation, and rehabilitation of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and functional disorders associated with cancer and it’s treatment, emphasizing the restoration and maintenance of function and quality of life.” It is focused primarily with optimizing physical function and utilizes a number of tools including interventional injections, bracing with orthotics, prescription of home exercise programs, coordination of skilled therapies, and various pharmacologic interventions.

About Dr. Chang:

Dr. Chang is a specialist in cancer rehabilitation medicine at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at SUNY Downstate followed by a fellowship in hospice and palliative care at Montefiore and a fellowship in cancer rehabilitation at the University of Michigan. He has published on various topics in cancer rehabilitation and works with the Cancer Rehabilitation Physician Consortium of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in growing this emerging field.

Some Issues/Problems Addressed by Cancer Rehabilitation

  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Cognitive complaints (i.e. “chemobrain”)
  • Gait/balance issues
  • Pain related to mastectomy, musculoskeletal concerns, neuropathy, fibromyalgia
  • Head and neck cancer rehabilitation (oromandibular dystonia, fibrosis, trismus, etc.)
  • Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome
  • Musculoskeletal GvHD
  • Lymphedema management
  • Exercise and physical activity recommendations/precautions
  • Survivorship concerns