Oncology Rehabilitation is a nurse and trainer assisted exercise program that is part of the Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship at GHS Cancer Institute.
An expert panel convened by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) concluded that exercise training is safe and beneficial for cancer survivors after – and even during – treatment. There is a growing body of evidence to support physical exercise preventing recurrence of certain cancers as well as lowering the incidence of primary cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. Physical activity is an activity each survivor can do to help their body’s defense against cancer by reducing inflammation, boosting immune function, and controlling hormone levels.
Our three month program, Moving On, is located at the GHS Life Center and helps cancer survivors develop an exercise regimen to become more physically active. By working with these professionals, survivors can adapt a personalized exercise program to “move on” past the challenges of their disease by decreasing fatigue, increasing strength and improving quality of life.
- Patients must be within three years of completing cancer treatment to be eligible for this program
- It is preferred that patients have completed all cancer treatment. Patients on current treatment will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Patients may be on maintenance therapies (Herceptin, Rituxan, Erbitux, etc). Patients must not be immunosuppressed (blood counts must be normal)
- Stem cell transplant patients are eligible for referral at any time
- Patients exercise in a gym atmosphere, and must be able to function independently (walk unassisted around a track, get themselves on and off exercise equipment unassisted)
Patients may use a cane if needed for ambulation. Patients requiring a wheelchair or walker should be referred to physical therapy prior to a referral to the Moving On program
Current and former participants of the Oncology Rehabilitation program get together in the evening two to three times a year for additional education and support. During one event the group enjoyed a cooking demonstration by Laura Pole, founder and president of Eating for a Lifetime. Laura ended her presentation with a “rap” on the importance of reading nutrition labels. Check it out!
YMCA Exercise Navigation
The YMCA Exercise Navigation is for cancer survivors interested in an oncology rehabilitation program who need the convenience of working out on their own schedule. Through collaboration with the Caine Halter YMCA of Greenville, we now have on staff a YMCA Exercise Navigator. Our Exercise Navigator, Cyndel Henson, BS, CPT, EIM, meets with patients in our office to discuss programmatic offerings available at each Greenville County YMCA. Cyndel assists with program enrollment, scheduling exercise trainer appointments, and if needed offers financial assistance for gym memberships.
As a result of our partnership with the YMCA, they have developed Wellness Works RX™. Wellness Works RX™ is a 12-week exercise program specifically designed for cancer survivors that utilizes ActivTrax™. Utilizing the ActivTrax™ system trainers design a workout plan specific to the cancer survivor’s needs. ActivTrax™ also provides participants with an easy and efficient way of scheduling workouts, meal plans and nutritional grocery lists. The training program serves as your workout partner and understands your wants, needs and goals. Participants have initial, six week check-in, and 12-week follow-up sessions with a YMCA exercise trainer. Participants may also re-enroll every twelve weeks.
A YMCA Exercise Navigation visit includes; physical assessment and medical clearance by an oncology nurse practitioner at the GHS Cancer Institute, a free IDXA body composition analysis scan with review, and a meeting with our YMCA Exercise Navigator. Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling an appointment for evaluation. This visit will be billed to your insurance similar to your oncologists’ appointments. A co-payment may apply depending on your insurance policy. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (864) 455-1346.
Oncology Massage at the GHS Life Center
Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship at GHS’ Cancer Institute invites you to schedule an oncology massage for just $45 per hour. This offer is good for cancer survivors only. Please call (864) 455-4231 to schedule your appointment. View our Massage Therapy Flier
Oncology Rehab Lymphedema Management Program
Lymphedema is swelling, occurring when the lymphatic system has been disrupted due to surgery, radiation, infection, disease, or trauma and cannot move it’s fluid and proteins well. The GHS Cancer Institute Lymphedema Management Program helps patients prevent and control lymphedema that is related to cancer. Treatment depends on the severity and extent of the condition. Physician referral is required for evaluation by our specially trained and certified physical therapists, Kathie Beldon, PT, CLT and Beth Alexander, PT, CLT.
Possible Signs of Lymphedema
- a full or heavy sensation in an arm or leg
- an increase in size in an arm or a leg
- skin feels tight
- clothes or jewelry do not fit well on one side
- hardness/ firmness in an arm or leg
- weeping from the skin
Complete Decongestive Therapy
If lymphedema does develop, patients can be seen by the physical therapist who will use some of the following methods:
- manual lymphatic drainage to decrease swelling in an affected area
- use of short stretch bandaging to decrease limb size, pitting, and fibrosis
- education on appropriate skin care
- self manual lymphatic drainage
- appropriate exercises to promote lymphatic drainage
- recommendations for compression garments.
Free Pre-surgery Screening for Lymphedema
A pre-surgical appointment for breast cancer patients is free to measure the arm size prior to surgery. These measurements are done with a perometer. Perometers use an infrared light to painlessly measure the volume of an arm or leg. Measuring the arm with a perometer is non-invasive, painless and extremely accurate. These measurements can be compared to arm dimensions after your surgery to detect early lymphedema. Serial measurement can also be performed to monitor increase and decreases in fluid volume in the arm. Measurements taken by the perometer are much more accurate than the older method of using a measuring tape.
*The fee for physical therapy evaluation and management (except the pre-surgery measurement which is free) will be billed to your insurance provider. Depending on your policy, a co-payment may be required at the visit.
Services for lymphedema treatment are located at the GHS Cancer Institute’s Oncology Rehabilitation program, 900 W. Faris Rd., 1st Floor. Entrance #8. For more information or to schedule and appointment please call (864) 455-1346.
Monthly Lymphedema Education Classes
Community based classes for patients and their family on lymphedema prevention and education are held at 4:15PM on the first Thursday of every month at GHS Life Center. Classes are free. Cancer survivors are encouraged to attend these classes before, during, and after their treatment to learn more about lymphedema. For more information contact: Jo Weathers, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN, Breast Nurse Navigator at (864) 455-1392 or Kathie Beldon, PT, CLT at (864) 455-1346.