I am happy to share that Cancer Rehabilitation Programs are closer to becoming a reality. Dr. Michael Stubblefield, author of: Cancer Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice and Dr. Gail Gamble author of: An Overview of Current Need, Delivery Models, and Levels of Care have organized a Cancer Rehabilitation Research Fund at the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The goal is for Rehabilitation Physicians to take the lead in restoring function and quality of life to the Cancer Survivor population, and to develop efficacy data. The first research grant hopes to be offered in 2018. If Cancer Rehabilitation is important, you can show your support with a donation to the “Cancer Rehabilitation Research Fund”. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org the Foundation Executive Director Phyllis Anderson or click on this link (http://foundationforpmr.org/new-cancer-rehabilitation-research-fund/ )
Why Rehabilitation Physicians? In the last year, all of the major rehabilitation medical societies have featured cancer rehabilitation programs at their annual educational meetings. They have a broad medical expertise that allows them to treat disabling conditions, such as neuropathy and pain, throughout a person’s life, treating the whole person, not just the problem area. .
Why is this so important? As part of more 15.5 million Americans cancer survivors we recognize the need for physicians who understand our physical, medical, and psychological needs, which can be difficult to find at a local level. This Research Fund will help educate more doctors and develop programs that allow local access to Cancer Survivors.
Who is Dr. Stubblefield? He is one of the pioneers in Cancer Rehabilitation. He wrote a paper in the Society of Oncology in 2011 giving Cancer Rehabilitation a definition and goal.
“Cancer rehabilitation is the subspecialty of rehabilitation medicine concerned with restoring and maintaining the highest possible level of function, independence, and quality of life to patients at all stages of their cancer diagnosis, including those undergoing potentially curative therapy and those receiving palliative care, as well as cancer survivors. Cancer rehabilitation physicians specialize in the evaluation and treatment of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and functional complications of cancer and cancer treatments such as acute and chronic pain, weakness, muscle spasm, myelopathy, radiculopathy, plexopathy, neuropathy, myopathy, deconditioning, contracture, spasticity, lymphedema, amputation, shoulder dysfunction, and gait disorders, among others. Late effects of radiation represents a particular challenge for cancer rehabilitation physicians as radiation fibrosis may affect multiple structures, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, plexus, local nerves, and muscles, as well as their supporting structures. A comprehensive clinical evaluation involving an in-depth working knowledge of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal anatomy and incorporating specialized physical examination maneuvers allows the physiatrist to clarify the specific etiology of pain and functional disorders. A safe and effective rehabilitation program will depend heavily on an accurate diagnosis of the cause of pain or dysfunction.” http://www.seminoncol.org/article/S0093-7754(11)00078-9/fulltext .
People have travel from around the world to see Dr. Stubblefield due to his expertise. One patient, Paul says “He was critical in learning to manage my issues.” Another person Dean says “I only spoke to him by phone, but my sense was that he “got” it. He was very kind to call me back and spend a good deal of time talking to me. I will likely see him at some point myself.” I also have seen Dr. Stubblefield who recognized my pain and limited range of motion as Radiation Fibrosis. Other physicians told me it was “all in my head”. Once the diagnosis was made I was able to move forward with the help of medical intervention and physical therapy under Dr. Stubblefield’s guidance.
Here are some you tube links to view about Cancer Rehabilitation done at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Dr. Stubblefield sees patients at Kessler’s West Orange and Saddle Brook, New Jersey locations. To schedule an appointment, call 973-731-3900 Ext. 2258.
The AAPM&R founded the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing physiatry and physiatric research.