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Medical Monday 5.12.14: Cary Medical Launches Oncology Rehab Program

| May 19, 2014


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Cary Medical Center has created a unique program to help cancer patients receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments. As Shawn Cunningham reports in this week’s Medical Monday, the program treats the whole body…with a whole cancer team on board.

Last November, Cary Medical Center launched an oncology rehab program incorporating a team of rehabilitation therapists.

Michelle Slike is a Cary Physical Therapist and says “We are right now trained in treating 25 different types of cancer and our biggest thing is that its a team approach so we have a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, patient support specialist and we all work as a team with the patient but also with the oncologist and primary care doctors.”

“our patient load has been increasing quite a bit and the program’s gotten a great start we seem to be making a huge difference and seeing lot’s of progress,” adds Brittany Kirby a Patient Support Specialist for the oncology rehab program.

Having a team of rehab specialists is a unique approach that’s aimed at treating the patient’s overall well being. For example, a speech therapist helps oncology patients not with problems related to talking…but other significant palative issues including challenges with swallowing.

Kate Collicott a Cary Speech Pathologist adds “swallowing, which ties into appetite if you’re appetite goes and you’re getting weaker that impacts your ability to fight the disease and again with OT, PT the oncologists, the dieticians we play a role in making sure that the patient is at the best place they can be everyday.”

“alot of times when individuals are going through the cancer treatment they tend to become short of breath, notice an increase in fatigue so I help to give tips and modifications so that people can maintain their independence with things like bathing, getting dressed important things that people do throughout their day.” adds Ashley Lajoie a Cary Occupational Therapist.

And its through this regimen of activities that rehab say they see noted improvements in patients overall mood and emotional outlook, which can be a big weapon boost in fighting cancer.

Kirby says “a positive attitude can definitely contribute to their overall well being being upbeat and just positive about their outlook can change a lot.”

And give the individual a better sense of hope and self control.


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