(Belleville, IL)  – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is proud to announce the launch of a new Oncology Wellness Program to assist those undergoing cancer treatments to improve their quality of care and quality of life from initial cancer diagnosis, through all stages of treatment, and after treatment is completed. 
Many advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Yet sadly, many cancer survivors, after surviving their disease, are unable to return to their pre-cancer lifestyle due to lingering effects of the disease and treatment.  St. Elizabeth’s Oncology Wellness Program can help prepare your body before cancer treatment, and help you to return to your previous activity level afterwards, reducing the effects of treatment. 
“This is about enhancing the quality of life for people living with cancer,” said Tom Dibadj, PT, DPT, St. Elizabeth’s Director of Rehabilitative Services. “Studies have shown that exercise during and after cancer treatment is safe and results in improvements in physical function, activity level, and fatigue. An Oncology Wellness program is much like other forms of therapy after a serious illness or injury but with the special needs and precautions of an oncology patient taken into account,” he explained.  “Our goal is to have a comprehensive team approach using evidence-based interventions that are unique for oncology patients to allow a safe progression of their program.”

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Oncology Wellness can assist in relieving a variety of symptoms and conditions related to cancer treatment:

  • Pain

  • Weakness

  • Tiredness (fatigue)

  • Neck and Shoulder Problems

  • Balance and Walking Difficulties

  • Memory and Concentration Issues

  • Swallowing and Speech Problems

  • Swelling (lymphedema)

  • Difficulties with Activities of Daily Living (self-care, functions at home)

  • Scar Tenderness/Tightness

  • Post-Mastectomy Pain Syndrome

  • Post-Surgical/Radiation/Chemo Range of Motion and Mobility Deficits

  • Bowel/Bladder Incontinence

  • Pelvic Pain

  • Chemo-Induced Neuropathy

  • Durable Medical Equipment Assessment and Recommendations

There are a variety of treatment options available through St. Elizabeth’s Oncology Wellness Program:
Pretreatment – Provide a functional assessment prior to beginning treatment, and offer education on posture, skin care, lymphedema precautions (if appropriate) and medical guidelines for safe exercise. A  Home Exercise Program is also available to minimize the mobility and strength deficits that may arise from treatment and assist in reducing cancer-related fatigue.
Rehabilitation – Provide physical, occupational or speech therapy to treat any deficits resulting from cancer treatments or surgeries, maximizing your quality of life and level of function. We can provide Home Exercise Program instructions within medical guidelines designed to combat cancer-related fatigue, pain and weakness, and allow you to maintain independence with your daily activities.
Survivor Support and Wellness – Offer proven recommendations to reduce and limit any long-term effects that may arise and affect your physical function, and empower you to be as active as possible.
In order to have Oncology Wellness services, a physician’s referral is required, typically from your family practitioner, oncologist, or surgeon.  St. Elizabeth’s accepts most insurances and your insurance benefits can be checked before your evaluation. For questions or more information about how you may benefit from Oncology Wellness services, contact one of these two HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s outpatient therapy locations: St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Medical Arts Bldg. E, Belleville, at 618-234-2120 x1767 or St. Elizabeth’s Medical Plaza, Mascoutah, at 618-566-4900.

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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