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PM R. 2017 Sep;9(9S2):S317-S323. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.05.010.

The Underutilization of Rehabilitation to Treat Physical Impairments in Breast Cancer Survivors.

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1
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, National Medical Director for Cancer Rehabilitation, Select Medical, 1199 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052(∗). Electronic address: mstubblefield@selectmedical.com.

Abstract

Breast cancer survivors can experience multiple neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, pain, and functional disorders as a result of their cancer and its treatment. Common disorders include shoulder dysfunction, postmastectomy syndrome, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, axillary cording, lymphedema, and a host of others. Cancer rehabilitation is a process that helps breast cancer and other survivors to obtain and maintain the highest possible physical, social, psychological, and vocational functioning within the limits created by cancer and its treatments. There are good data supporting the safety and efficacy of cancer rehabilitation in the treatment of many breast cancer-related impairments, including shoulder dysfunction and lymphedema, among others. Despite the goals and efficacy of cancer rehabilitation, there is a marked underuse of services. The reasons for this phenomenon are many, but broadly result from a lack of knowledge about cancer rehabilitation on the part of patients and referring clinicians, limited access to services, and suboptimal adherence. This article explores underutilization of cancer rehabilitation in breast cancer survivors and provides an opportunity to consider ways to improve this gap in care.

PMID:
28942906
DOI:
10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.05.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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