Cancer treatment is very stressful for those affected. After chemotherapy or surgery as a result of cancer, not only the body, but also the mind is weakened. Oncological rehabilitation can help cancer patients to recover after treatment. Oncology is the science that deals with cancer. During an oncological rehabilitation, the patient receives therapy and advice tailored to his needs. After that, many cancer patients find it easier to return to their everyday lives.
Benefits of a rehab after cancer
Rehabilitation of a cancer should alleviate potential side effects of the disease or treatment. Likewise, the success of the treatment should be ensured and possible limitations or long-term consequences of the cancer should be prevented. In the rehab the cancer patient receives a special support and advice tailored to his illness. This includes, if necessary, other measures against the cancer.
A rehab after cancer often makes it easier for patients to return to their everyday lives. This measure is called social rehabilitation. Its purpose is to prevent cancer patients after their illness from remaining isolated from their social environment or experiencing restrictions and discrimination. As a result of the rehab, it is above all the patient's well-being that makes it easier for them to return to work.
The so-called psycho-oncological measures make a major contribution to increasing well-being. Psycho-oncology is a special form of psychotherapy that deals with the psychological and social side effects and consequences of cancer.
Course of a rehabilitation after cancer
Exactly how a rehab after cancer and treatment looks like and what action is taken depends on the type of cancer and the individual course of the disease. Many cancer patients decide after the end of their treatment for a so-called follow-up rehabilitation (follow-up treatment).
Such a follow-up treatment usually takes place directly after the cancer treatment or after a break of only a few days. The oncological rehabilitation is usually performed in a special clinic and takes about three weeks.
Measures during the rehab after cancer
The clinics that offer an oncological rehabilitation must be able to fulfill special quality requirements and prove their experience in the various therapeutic areas. The measures taken during cancer rehabilitation include, for example:
- medical treatments
- Physiotherapy and sports training
- psychological counseling
- Discussion groups and lectures
- relaxation techniques
- social counseling
- creative therapies such as music, art or dance therapies
- nutrition counseling
Some clinics also specialize in individual cancers and offer a program specific to certain cancers. Generally, after arrival, the patient will receive a personalized offer, consisting of various measures. The various program items are held partly alone, but sometimes also in small groups.
An oncological rehabilitation is also possible on an outpatient basis
If you do not want to carry out your oncological rehabilitation inpatient, you may be able to fall back on outpatient rehab facilities. Here treatment usually begins in the morning and ends in the late afternoon or evening. However, it should be noted in the outpatient rehab that such facilities in Germany are not yet available nationwide.
For cancer patients, there are also many accompanying outpatient procedures that can be performed instead of or in addition to a rehab. These include, for example, psycho-oncological consultations over a longer period of time. In addition, regular physiotherapeutic measures are important to remedy physical discomfort or prevent possible physical problems.
To achieve this, a visit to a rehabilitation sports group can also be beneficial. Here, the cancer patients are not only offered a specially tailored to their movement program, but can also communicate with other stakeholders.
Who bears the cost of a rehab after cancer?
Normally, the costs for oncological rehabilitation are covered by the health insurance. In the case of a statutory health insurance, depending on the nature of the measures, some additional payments have to be made, but under some circumstances they can also be exempted. For privately insured cancer patients, the regulations are similar to those of the legally insured. Nevertheless, it must always be clarified in individual cases whether rehabilitation benefits are included in the respective contract.
Depending on the insurance situation and the measures taken in the rehab, the costs can also be covered by the statutory pension insurance, the statutory accident insurance or by civil servants and soldiers of the federal government and the states.
A cancer patient can only choose a clinic for his or her rehab that meets the requirements of the insurance. Especially if the rehabilitation is to take place directly after the cancer treatment, it is not always possible to get a place in his desired clinic.
Is oncological rehabilitation effective?
Several studies have shown that rehab measures significantly reduce the incidence of cancer and cancer treatment. The positive effect of rehab after cancer lasted particularly long after outpatient treatment continued after inpatient rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation had the biggest impact on the patient's psychosocial well-being. In addition, especially patients benefited from the rehab, which were burdened by their illness medium to heavy.
Rehabilitation after cancer treatment is not a must
Even though rehab after cancer often makes sense, cancer patients do not have to undergo rehabilitation after the end of their treatment. Whether a rehab is necessary and useful, you can discuss with your doctor. Normally, after the end of treatment or after a successful operation, he will inform about possible rehabilitation measures.
The attending physician can also explain to you how a specially tailored rehab would look exactly. In addition to the attending physician, you can also turn to the hospital social services for planning your rehabilitation measures.