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Unique Cancer Rehabilitation Program Launched To Improve Cancer Care

Cancer patients being treated at St. John's Rehab Hospital can now benefit from the innovative rehabilitation program// that would enable them rebuild their lives following major cancer surgery.

The cancer rehabilitation program launched in conjunction with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre includes a short stay and a cancer rehab program at St. John's. This unique service would ensure that enough beds are available at Sunnybrook for post-operative care of cancer patients.

A pilot program initiated last year had admitted 19 cancer patients, all of whom had undergone major surgery for removal of stomach and gastrointestinal cancer. Most of the patients were over 70 years of age.

Discharging of cancer patients directly from the hospital following cancer surgery often results in depression as the patients are unable to cope with the physical and emotional trauma.

A specialized cancer rehab program can help them overcome these problems, enabling optimal recovery and quality medical care. Additionally, it would enable them to lead a competent social life. The distinct advantage of this health care program is the reduced cost.

Although the impact of program on the waiting list is not known at the present, it is hoped that the continued provision of cancer services would benefit the cancer patients and improve their quality of life.

'Rehab is one of those areas we don't pay a lot of attention to — getting people back into shape. It's a great step forward for St. John's and very good partnership for Sunnybrook. It's certainly a progressive step for a rehab facility to be taking on cancer patients like this,' remarked Terry Sullivan, president and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario.


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