Cancer Survivorship

Why Choose OSF?

OSF HealthCare Oncology Rehabilitation offers the best available cancer survivor services. 

Dedicated staff have been exposed to the current and most effective research-based protocols in order to team with survivors to achieve optimal health and maximal function. 

Our services benefit survivors across the spectrum, from those newly diagnosed to those experiencing late effects from treatment long ago.

We collaborate with your other oncology health care providers to ensure that your health is being addressed with a team approach. 

OSF HealthCare Oncology Rehabilitation is a resource for all during any chapter of the cancer survivorship journey.  

About Our Cancer Survivorship Services

Our program is open to everyone no matter the prognosis, cancer stage, or phase of recovery. Newly diagnosed patients may want to increase their strength and endurance and prevent future medical problems. 

Survivors living with cancer as a chronic disease may come to us for help managing treatment-related conditions.  Individuals who are cured or in remission may enroll in our program with the goal of maximizing physical function, so they can recover as fully as possible.

Who Would Benefit?

We strive to provide you the knowledge and skill to have the best quality of life possible. 

We educate regarding what to expect throughout your cancer plan of care. 

We listen to your individual deficits--difficulty with daily care, inability to travel, decreased endurance and safety with ambulation, difficulty caring for others, inability to return to work (to name a few)--and set goals with you to minimize the level of those deficits.

OSF Oncology Rehabilitation can help if you are experiencing:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of concentration
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Inability to work
  • Difficulty caring for children/grandchildren
  • Limited mobility due to safety concerns (walking, driving, etc.)
  • Inability to travel and take vacations
  • Difficulty with dressing, bathing, chores, or shopping
  • Any limitation due to the effects of cancer and/or cancer treatment

What is Prehabilitation?

Head and Neck Cancer Prehabilitation

Individuals with head and neck cancer who are scheduled to undergo surgery or treatment may benefit from prehabilitation support.  Prehabilitation is rehabilitation that takes place prior to surgery in order to become familiar with certain exercises and obtain the best outcome.

Treatment for head and neck cancers often changes the patient’s ability to chew, swallow, or talk. A speech therapist will prescribe swallowing exercises prior to surgery and chemo-radiation to help improve swallowing outcomes after treatment.

Better swallowing outcomes lead to the patient being able to eat, which in turn prevents weight loss, improves overall energy and strength, and leads to a quicker recovery.

Breast Cancer Prehabilitation

A woman with breast cancer who is scheduled to undergo a mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction may benefit from prehabilitation support. 

physical therapist or occupational therapist can prescribe upper-body strengthening and range-of-motion exercises that may reduce the risk of post-operative pain and other complications such as “frozen shoulder.” 

Prehabilitation can also help support women emotionally when dealing with a new diagnosis of breast cancer.  In addition, OSF providers can teach women specific mind-body skills to decrease stress.

What to Expect

Cancer treatments can cause significant pain, fatigue, weakness, memory loss or lack of concentration and disability. Through participation in the OSF Oncology Rehabilitation program, our goal is to minimize these effects in order to allow you to have the best quality of life possible.

The first visit will take a little longer, approximately 45 minutes to an hour. This provides the therapist time to talk with you and gather information and measurements.

The therapist will give you a home exercise program to get you started on the road to recovery.

How to Get Started

You’ll need a physician’s referral to set up an initial evaluation appointment.

What to Bring

Please bring your insurance card and a photo ID. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

When to Arrive

Arrive about 15 minutes prior to your scheduled visit to complete your registration process. For children under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must be present for the initial appointment.