Integrated Rehabilitation for Breast Cancer Survivors
Andrea L. Cheville, MD, MSCE1; Sarah A. McLaughlin, MD2; Tufia Haddad, MD3; Kathleen D. Lyons, OTR/L, ScD4; Robin Newman, OTR/L, OTD5; Kathryn J. Ruddy, MD, MPH3. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Articles 2018
The physical and psychological side effects of breast cancer therapies can have substantial impact on survivors’ physical and social functioning. Roughly half of the more than 3 million Americans alive with a history of breast cancer report adverse, function-degrading sequelae related to their oncologic treatments. Care delivery models for the timely delivery of rehabilitation services have been proposed yet limitedly vetted or implemented. These include the prospective surveillance model, procedure-linked referrals, survivorship care plans and risk stratification. Patients’ capacity to engage in the rehabilitative process varies over the course of cancer therapy and into survivorship. Perioperative attention generally focuses on managing premorbid impairments and normalizing shoulder function. In contrast, during chemo- and radiation therapies, symptom control, constructive coping, and role preservation may become more salient. Risk-stratified, individualized screening and prevention activities for specific impairments have become increasingly feasible through predictive models and analytics. Impairments’ severity deleterious impact can be mitigated, as has been established for lymphedema, shoulder dysfunction, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, and sexual side effects. Integrated rehabilitative programs, often following the completion of cancer treatment, are available in some countries outside of the United States and may offer survivors vital vocation- and avocation-directed services.