Rehabilitation too often remains clinically marginalized in the care of cancer patients. The perception that only patients capable of full community and vocational pursuits with unrestricted life spans stand to benefit from rehabilitation is inaccurate. Although physical medicine and rehabilitation, or physiatry, was initially dedicated to transitioning individuals with anatomically devastating injuries back to productive lives, the field has broadened considerably. This increased scope is a response to medical advances that have radically altered the prognoses of many formerly fatal diseases. Integration of rehabilitation services in the care of patients with far-advanced pulmonary and cardiac disease is standard. Comparable services are rarely offered to cancer patients, even in the early stages of disease. The purpose of rehabilitation as outlined in this chapter is to improve the quality of life irrespective of etiology or anticipated survival.
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