Rehabilitation Oncology

When a person is having limitations in everyday functioning from a health condition such as cancer, or has an injury or trauma they are recovering from, rehabilitation can help.

Cancer rehabilitation involves many types of healthcare specialists working together to develop a personal plan that considers your preferences, strengths and goals.

Types of cancer rehabilitation specialists include:

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapy (OT) helps to solve problems that interfere with a person’s ability to do things that are important to them, including everyday things like self-care, going to work/ school and leisure/ social activities.


Physiatrists are medical doctors who have completed specialized training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry. Cancer Physiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation of patients with cancer. As experts in musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions, physiatrists are able to assess pain, weakness, restrictions, cognition and more to determine both a diagnostic workup and a treatment plan. Patients seen by a physiatrist benefit from earlier identification and treatment of rehabilitation issues as a result of the cancer or its treatment. Physiatrists focus their treatment on function by treating the whole person, not just one problem area.

Depending on a patient’s problems or symptoms, physiatrists treat their patients using:

  • Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies
  • Corticosteroid joint injections, trigger point injections and botulinum toxin injections
  • Prescriptions (for medications)
  • Functional or return to work recommendations
  • Bowel and bladder function assessments and treatment


Physiotherapy (PT) can help you regain, maintain or increase strength and movement in key parts of your body.

Speech Language Pathologist

Speech Language Pathology (SLP) can help with speech production, language, feeding and swallowing changes.

The cancer rehabilitation services available at various Cancer Care Alberta sites can benefit all people with cancer who experience a change in quality of life after diagnosis, including all types and stages of cancer.

To access these specialists:

Contact your local cancer centre or search “Rehabilitation Oncology” online on the Alberta Referral Directory.

Rehabilitation Oncology