About this Research Topic
Cancer rehabilitation is a process that restores the maximal possible level of function and quality of life to persons affected by cancer. It is a multidisciplinary endeavor that includes rehabilitation physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and others. Intervention by cancer rehabilitation clinicians is often key to not only restoring function, but minimizing pain in cancer survivors. The rehabilitation approach to pain management is targeted to the specific etiology of pain and may be safer and more effective than treatment that is not targeted to anatomic pain generators and/or only uses one modality, such as traditional non-specific opioid-based therapy. Optimal rehabilitation is holistic and patient-centered based on their abilities and goals; management includes multiple disciplines and incorporates education, physical modalities, therapeutic exercise, manual techniques, interventional procedures, medications, and other modalities where appropriate.
In addition to reducing pain and improving function and quality of life, the value proposition of cancer rehabilitation is that it has the potential to reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations, unnecessary testing, oncology clinician time and resources, and overall cost of care. Additionally patient satisfaction with their care may be enhanced, opioid use reduced and anti-neoplastic therapies such as aromatase inhibitors more likely to be completed. While there is some evidence to support each of the value propositions of cancer rehabilitation, high-quality data is lacking. For cancer rehabilitation to become standard in comprehensive cancer care, high-quality research is sorely needed. The Role of Rehabilitation in Comprehensive Cancer Pain Management Research Topic of Frontiers in Pain Research is designed to outline and answer these important questions.
Keywords: Cancer, Pain, Rehabilitation, Therapy, Rehabilitation Medicine
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