Featuring: Robin Cohen, MD
In 2021, a rehabilitation clinic opened at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital for patients diagnosed with cancer. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this clinic provides patients with evidence-based treatment to help them recover and remain independent throughout their cancer care journey.
“Due to tremendous leaps in medicine over the past 20 years, the survivorship for many types of cancer has increased significantly,” says Robin Cohen, MD, an attending physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Marianjoy. “This has shifted our focus of care from solely survival to quality of life.”
Benefits for patients
Patients who are treated for cancer often experience at least three impairments — physical, cognitive and functional — and any of these can last longer than 10 years. Additionally, cancer diagnosis and treatment can be emotionally difficult for patients and their loved ones. “The Cancer Rehabilitation Program takes place before, during or after cancer treatment to help patients better manage such impairments,” says Dr. Cohen. “It is an interdisciplinary program that involves many important pieces, from increased activity programs and nutritional counseling to psychiatry and social work.”
Research-based benefits of cancer rehabilitation include:
Impact of interdisciplinary care at Northwestern Medicine
To help patients with cancer who need surgery, Dr. Cohen has been meeting with different oncology groups and collaborating with Northwestern Medicine surgical oncologists to promote “prehab.” As a subset of the broader cancer rehabilitation program at Marianjoy, prehab is cancer rehabilitation provided to patients before they begin chemotherapy or surgery. The goal is to help patients strengthen their bodies before experiencing side effects from treatment.
Dr. Cohen also refers patients to other specialists across NM and within Marianjoy. These specialists can help with prosthetics, specialized wheelchairs, aquatic dysphagia treatment, mental health support and more.
Robin Cohen, MD, attending physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital
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