City of Hope’s Occupational Therapy program focuses on restoring skills and teaching adaptive techniques to help patients resume their day-to-day lives with the greatest independence possible.
Our occupational therapists specialize in treating breast cancer patients. Through an array of educational and therapeutic services, patients learn how to care for wounds, guard against infection, adapt to daily living, and recognize the signs and symptoms of lymphedema (swelling), which can result from lymph node removal. They are also given specific instructions on exercises for maintaining a range of motion in their joints in order to minimize treatment-related pain and loss of function.
Our occupational therapists have advanced training in treating swallowing disorders (dysphagia) and managing the specific swallowing problems that can occur in cancer patients. We work in close collaboration with surgeons, radiologists and numerous other health-care providers to ensure patients develop safe and effective swallowing practices.
Cancer patients can sometimes encounter difficulties performing normal everyday tasks as a result of fatigue or limitations in physical function. Occupational therapists assist patients in addressing these problems by using a combination of adaptive techniques, energy conservation measures and the use of specialized equipment.