Occupational Therapy and Oncology

 “… affirming peoples’ lives –no matter what stage of illness they are at –by providing them with physical, social and emotional opportunities, and a sense of control.”

Quote taken from Occupational therapy intervention in cancer: Guidance for professionals, managers and decision-makers. Published by the College of Occupational Therapists Ltd., 2004.

Living with cancer

An occupational therapist uses specific activities to promote independence in all aspects of daily life. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages, with physical, cognitive and social impairments. 

Like other rehabilitation professionals, occupational therapists aim to improve quality of life, so that peoples’ lives will be as comfortable and productive as possible and so they can live as independently as possible. Because individuals with cancer can experience very rapid changes in their their illness and care setting, occupational therapists working with these people must be responsive to changing need.

Your therapist may offer you any of the following:

  • Participation in daily activities
  • Pain management
  • Fatigue management
  • Energy conservation 
  • Task simplification
  • Breathlessness management
  • Organizational skills
  • Coping Skills
  • Self-esteem exploration
  • Coaching regarding return to roles (such as family members, students, workers)
  • Stress/Anxiety management
  • Leisure exploration
  • Strategies to maintain or optimize quality of life
  • Joint protection
  • Ergonomics
  • Return to work guidance
  • Positioning and skin integrity
  • Cognitive and perceptual assessment
  • "Chemo brain" or "Brain fog" interventions
  • Instruction for compensation for peripheral neuropathy
  • Environmental adaptations
  • Safety and accessibility
  • Equipment provisions
  • Appropriate referrals to other services
  • Community integration
  • CLSC referral
  • Family and caregiver education
  • Palliative care support and intervention
  • Ask about our Breast Cancer Survivors' Support Group!

Your therapist will establish a partnership with you to identify opportunities to improve your overall quality of life. Your choices and priorities drive any interventions that will take place.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

How to reach us

Telephone: (514) 340-8289 
Fax: (514) 340-8027

For more information, contact  the Occupational Therapy Department of Physical Medicine at (514) 340-8222 ext 28289

Where to find us

Pavilion D, Room D-0002 (level S1)
Closest entrance: Légaré St. 


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