Oncology Rehabilitation Services

What is Oncology Rehabilitation?

Oncology rehabilitation is a specialized program offered by licensed and oncology certified clinicians. Our program is supported by certified physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists. It includes an integrated, multidisciplinary, oncology survivorship program easing the transition from illness to wellness and helping patients improve quality of life and independence. Rehabilitation services plays an integral role through interventions based on the latest research and standardized tools. A variety of oncology rehabilitation specialty programs are available to support you: lymphedema management, women’s and men’s pelvic health, wound care, and dysphagia for head and neck cancers.

Oncology rehabilitation is beneficial prior to, during, and/or after cancer treatment. Initially a comprehensive plan of care is designed for each patient utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on mutually agreed upon goals with an overarching vision of getting each patient back to an active lifestyle doing the things that matter most. In an encouraging and supportive environment, oncology rehabilitation empowers patients and provides the necessary tools to help address cancer related symptoms. Physical, psychological, and cognitive impairments are assessed in an effort to focus on the whole patient. Another primary focus is maintaining or restoring function and minimizing symptoms such as distress, pain, fatigue, swelling, weakness, balance and walking challenges, memory and concentration concerns, swallowing and speech issues, or difficulty with performing daily activities such as dressing or bathing.

Physical Therapy

  • Improving independence through physical performance
  • Regaining strength, endurance, flexibility, and functional skills
  • Reducing balance concerns, pain, and fatigue

Occupational Therapy

  • Improving independence with self-care (dressing, hygiene, bathing) and use of specialized equipment, if needed
  • Promoting endurance, functional tasks, and self-care skills such as homemaking, shopping, and leisure activities
  • Upper extremity management for improved use of shoulder, elbows, wrists and hands
  • Design and education on use of customized splints, if necessary
  • Energy Conservation

Speech Therapy

  • Cancer and cancer related treatment symptoms can affect communication, swallowing, and cognition which play a fundamental role in our lives.
  • Improving speech, language, cognition, and communication skills


  • Hearing and the systems that support balance may be affected by medications used in cancer treatments
  • Evaluate hearing and balance systems and determine if amplification devices or therapy would be beneficial

Specialized Rehabilitation Services:

Our clinicians have advanced degrees and certifications in specific areas of expertise allowing them to provide highly specialized care for those with focused needs.

Lymphedema Management

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling caused by lymphatic fluid collecting between the tissue cells (interstitial space). It most commonly occurs in the arm(s) and/or leg(s) but can occur in the trunk, head or neck. It can develop when lymphatic vessels are damaged, impaired or missing, or when lymph nodes have been removed. Northside Hospital has physical and occupational therapists that are specialized in the treatment of lymphedema. Services include lymphedema prevention and education, treatment of swelling, scar tissue management, improving range of motion, function, and pain reduction.

Women’s and Men’s Pelvic Health

Pelvic floor dysfunction is an imbalance in the pelvis that can result in many impairments, including incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. One common reason for pelvic floor dysfunction is hormonal changes due to the normal aging process. Some cancer treatments may mimic these hormonal changes and cause alterations in the pelvic floor. Your individualized care plan will focus on the pelvic floor and surrounding areas to address your specific concerns. Our therapists are trained to offer hands-on manual therapy techniques, as well as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, scar tissue management and biofeedback to facilitate healing.

Dysphagia for Head and Neck Cancers

Preventative therapy for swallowing disorders associated with side effects caused by cancer treatment maximizing quality of life.

Wound Care

Promote healing of wounds and burns utilizing hydrotherapy techniques, debridement of unhealthy tissues and dressing changes..

Therapy services are provided for individuals with all types of cancer. We promote research based practice and are dedicated to providing individualized care to each patient. If you have any concerns or difficulties that you didn’t have before your diagnosis, especially if it interferes with your ability to do the things that you need or want to do, oncology rehabilitation may help you. Please discuss your concerns with your physician. Oncology Rehabilitation requires a physician referral. If you have a referral or questions about therapy, call our Centralized Scheduling department at (404) 236-8030.

Learn about other Rehabilitation Services at Northside Hospital.


Northside Hospital - Atlanta

1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 851-8000

Northside Hospital - Cherokee

450 Northside Cherokee Blvd.
Canton, GA 30115
(770) 224-1000

Northside Hospital - Forsyth

1200 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 844-3200

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