Nurse performing rehabilitation exercise with patient

Oncology Rehabilitation

A Personal Approach to Rehab for Cancer Patients

Helen Hayes Hospital offers comprehensive therapeutic services for patients with cancer.

As one of the country’s very first specialty physical rehabilitation facilities, Helen Hayes Hospital has a well-earned reputation for excellence in rehabilitation medicine, providing medical, nursing, and therapeutic care to individuals seeking to rebuild their lives. For individuals who have recently been diagnosed with cancer, as well as those currently undergoing treatment, following treatment or long-term survivors, rehabilitation is a valuable resource in regaining health, functioning, and mobility.

Our interdisciplinary clinical teams design a customized treatment plan to enable patients to meet their needs and goals and live an enhanced quality of life. Each patient’s cancer journey is unique and we work collaboratively with the patient’s oncologist and other healthcare providers to offer a holistic approach to rehabilitation care.

Who Can Benefit

Rehabilitation services are provided to patients of all ages, from toddlers and children to teens, adults, and the elderly. The Oncology Rehabilitation Program at Helen Hayes Hospital can help individuals who have been diagnosed with almost any form of cancer, including brain, breast, bone, lung, head and neck, and colon cancers.

Depending on the patient’s treatment plan and overall health, therapy can begin at the time of diagnosis or can take place years post-diagnosis. Therapy can help many patients manage the effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery and can help cancer survivors improve their functional status.

Rehabilitation addresses many health issues, including:

  • Overall deconditioning
  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Mobility limitations
  • Loss of balance/coordination
  • Lymphedema
  • Pain
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Voice loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Incontinence
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Cognitive dysfunction (“chemo brain” or “fog”)

How Rehabilitation Helps

All therapies are aimed at helping patients resume activities of daily living, while simultaneously managing the complications of cancer and its treatments. Rebuilding strength and endurance is key, as is reducing pain, numbness, and weakness. The resumption of walking and comfortable movement is a focus of many therapies. Regaining balance, coordination, and the ability to speak and swallow are also important benefits of therapy. Energy conservations techniques and strategies and home exercise routines can be recommended.

Many patients report improvement in sleep and the ability to better manage their ongoing treatments. Rehabilitation also offers many psychological and emotional benefits and helps to prevent hospitalizations due to infections, deconditioning, and other issues.

Comprehensive Therapies

Every patient will work with highly skilled physical, occupational, and speech therapists, as needed. The services of lymphedema specialists and physiatrists are also available.

Many oncology patients are able to take advantage of the wide range of specialty services and rehab equipment available at HHH, including:

  • Center for Rehabilitation Technology (wheelchair seating/augmentative communication)
  • Prosthetic Orthotic Center
  • AlterG Antigravity TreadmillR
  • Bertec Balance AdvantageTM
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
  • Vibration Therapy
  • Body Weight Supported Gait Training
  • Flexible Fiberoptic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing, or FEES
  • TRXR

The following HHH services can also prove beneficial.

Accessing Rehabilitation Care

Rehabilitation plays a valuable role in a cancer patient’s recovery and a survivor’s quality of life. The rehab specialists at Helen Hayes Hospital are committed to working with a patient’s treatment team at a specialty cancer center, hospital, or physician practice.

Following the receipt of a physician’s prescription for rehabilitation care, call the HHH Outpatient Scheduling Center for an appointment at 845-786-4194.


"You gave me the help I needed to recover and rebuild my confidence in myself to handle the challenges I’m about to embark on for the rest of my life." 

For more information, please contact 
Helen Hayes Hospital Outpatient Scheduling: 

1-888-70-REHAB ext. 4194