is a general term used to describe the abnormal growth o cells in any part o the body. There are more than 100 types o cancer, which may aect specifc tissues, organs, blood, or lymphaticsystems.
Treatment or cancer commonly includes surgery,chemotherapy, radiation, and/or hormonal therapy. With earlierdetection and improved treatments, there has been a steady increasein the number o cancer survivors over the past decade.
Cancer orthe treatments involved in one’s care may lead to changes in physical,cognitive, and emotional well-being. Sometimes just doing dailyactivities leaves little energy or leisure, social, or work-related tasks.Occupational therapy practitioners have the knowledge and expertiseto modiy activities and environments to allow individuals to do thethings they want and need to do to maintain quality o lie.
Role o Occupational Therapy
The role o occupational therapy in oncology is “to acilitate and enable an individual patient to achieve maximumunctional perormance, both physically and psychologically, in everyday living skills regardless o his or her lieexpectancy” (p. 75).
Due to the uniqueness and complexity o human occupation, each individual diagnosed with cancerwill experience dierent limitations in his or her various occupations/roles and restrictions in participation throughout thecourse o the disease, based on liestyle choices.Cancer and its treatment can cause interruptions in daily routines aecting how individuals perorm their sel-care, work,leisure, or social activities. For example, individuals may experience difculty with sel-care activities such as bathing ordressing. Others may experience difculty perorming essential job unctions such as liting, carrying, or having the mentalor physical endurance to work ull time. Some individuals with cancer may experience difculties with leisure activitiessuch as traveling, gardening, or exercising while others may experience difculty socializing with riends and amily.Individuals with cancer may experience these difculties as a result o the disease or rom the eects o its treatment.Common side eects o cancer or its treatment include atigue, pain, weakness, cognitive difculties, anxiety or depression,and changes in sel-esteem or sel-image. Occupational therapy practitioners address these eects through interventionaimed at restoring unction such as developing home exercise programs to improve strength and mobility; modiyingactivities such as teaching individuals ways to conserve energy during important everyday activities; or modiyingenvironments such as the workplace, home, or community.Occupational therapy intervention methods can remediate, compensate, or adapt a client’s abilities to assist him or her inachieving a maximum level o independence and quality o lie. Some examples can include:• Management o activities o daily living (ADLs) such as bathing and dressing through adaptations to the activity andenvironment, and/or the use o assistive technology.• Liestyle management such as preventative health, improved ftness, etc. This may include education emphasizingthe person’s strengths and positive coping strategies that enable him or her to be in control o liestyle choices.• Sleep and atigue management such as education in and demonstration o energy conservation and relaxationmanagement techniques to support health and the ability to participate in meaningul activities.• Cognitive strategies to address memory, organizational executive unction defcits, and low-energy tasks that ocuson restoring engagement in daily occupations such as sitting in the park, reading a newspaper, or conversing witha riend.
The Role of Occupational Therapy in
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