STAR Program: Cancer Rehabilitation
What is the STAR Program at HCMC?
The HCMC Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of the STAR Program network of certified cancer rehabilitation programs. It is a nationally recognized accreditation that focuses on improving the lives of cancer patients & survivors who suffer from the side effects caused by cancer and its treatments. Certified STAR Programs offer coordinated cancer rehabilitation care by a team of specially trained health professionals who have completed STAR certification.
Cancer and its treatments such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy can cause significant pain, fatigue, and disability. Through our STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Program, our goal is to minimize these side effects and to encourage the best quality of life possible both during and after treatments. Rehabilitation services are based on individual goals to improve daily functioning and symptom management.
Your Rehabilitation Team
Our Cancer Rehabilitation team consists of a rehabilitation physician, advanced practice providers, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physical training professional, as well as our dietitian and social worker.
Who Can Benefit from Cancer Rehabilitation?
Anyone with a cancer diagnosis (before, during, and after treatment) can benefit from cancer rehabilitation. Our therapists can help manage:
- Chronic Pain
- Fatigue or Energy Management
- Weakness or Deconditioning
- Limb Swelling or Lymphedema
- Changes in memory or focus
- Speaking or swallowing problems
- Strengthening prior to treatments, also known as "Prehab"
- Restoring movement or function following surgery or radiation
- Bowel or bladder problems
- Peripheral Neuropathy (numbness/tingling/pain in your hands/feet)
- Balance issues
- Home Safety Evaluation
- Workplace Accommodation Evaluation
Family members taking care of someone with rehabilitation needs: In some instances our therapists may work with caregivers on preventing falls or other issues they may face when taking care of family members in the home.
Resources are also available for:
- Nutrition counseling
- Sexual dysfunction
- Return to work/school issues
- Mental health
Appointments & Additional Information
If you are interested in Cancer Rehabilitation with our certified STAR program, please speak with your provider or contact Syndal Ortman, RN, DNP, Survivorship & Cancer Rehab Director. A provider referral is needed before therapies can begin.