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Oncology Wellness Program

A program to assist those undergoing cancer treatments

Young woman dressed in pink with her young family


HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinton County YMCA offer an Oncology Wellness Program for patients undergoing cancer treatments at all stages, providing care to maximize quality of life with customized treatments. Studies have shown that exercise during and after cancer treatment is safe and results in improvements in physical function, energy level and ability to perform daily activities. Services offered include Pre-treatment Rehabilitation, Outpatient Rehabilitation, and Survivor Support and Wellness.


Prehab can begin as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer. Prehab will help you to be in the best possible condition before beginning cancer treatment, to help speed your recovery and possibly decrease treatment side effects. Prehab will include:

  • Functional Assessment
  • Education – Posture, skin care, lymphedema precautions (if appropriate) and medical guidelines for safe exercise.
  • Home Exercise Program to minimize the mobility and strength deficits that may arise from treatment and assist in reducing cancer-related fatigue.


Rehabilitation can begin as soon as your care provider/physician feels that you are ready to start on the road to recovery. Oncology Wellness offers the following services conveniently located in the HealthPlex:

  • Physical Therapy: Exercise, strength training, range of motion, pain management techniques along with personalized home programs
  • Occupational Therapy: Range of motion, stretching, activities of daily living, energy conservation techniques, lymphedema treatment & bandaging, preparation for return to vocational activities, and recommendations for adaptive equipment-along with personalized home programs
  • Speech Therapy: Treatment of communication, cognition, voice and swallowing disorders (including electronic stimulation therapy for swallowing)-along with personalized home programs
  • Aquatic Therapy: One on one low-impact treatment by Physical Therapy staff in our private handicap-accessible therapy pool

Support and wellness

The Healthplex offers several resources for patients undergoing cancer treatments:

  • The Healthplex houses the Cancer Care Closet and St. Clare Share resources, which are overseen by the St. Joseph’s Rehab Services department staff  
  • The Cancer Care Closet is stocked with a wide and numerous variety of wigs, hats and scarves that have been donated from the community and are carefully cleaned, organized and displayed
  • The St. Clare Share program is funded by an anonymous benefactor who provides gas cards to help defray travel expenses for those currently undergoing cancer treatments
  • The Healthplex is also home to the Clinton County YMCA which offers the nationally recognized “LIVESTRONG” program. Even those who are newly diagnosed with cancer can begin the program with clearance from their physician. The LIVESTRONG program is a free 12 week program lead by YMCA staff that has been specially trained to work with cancer survivors. The program meets twice a week for supervised exercise, focusing on building muscle mass and strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, improving confidence and self-esteem and reducing stress.
  • The specially trained YMCA staff is also available for short term and/or long term one-on-one personal training. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA has helped thousands of cancer survivors move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.
Woman cancer patient with friends

Symptom support

Symptoms that Oncology Wellness can assist with:

  • 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

Getting a referral

In order to have Oncology Wellness services, a physician’s referral is required, typically from your family practitioner, oncologist, or surgeon.  St. Joseph'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 Cancer Rehabilitation, contact us at 618-526-5436.

Additional support resources

Nutrition Services

Registered Dietitians at St. Anthony can help address nutritional issues and symptoms such as constipation, uncontrolled diarrhea, severe taste changes or dry mouth, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and other symptoms.  They can also determine nutritional needs for those requiring tube feedings, and provide education to families on home feedings.  For assistance or more information, contact Clinical Nutrition and Diabetes Services at 217-347-1288.

Breast Cancer Support Group and Wig Bank

HSHS St. Anthony’s Women’s Wellness offers a Breast Cancer Support Group in the Women’s Wellness Center.  This group is open to all breast cancer patients and survivors, offering support, encouragement and education. They meet every other month on the fourth Thursday.  There is no charge to attend.  

St. Anthony’s Wig Bank, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, offers wigs of various styles and colors, free to all cancer patients in need of a wig.

For more information, contact Women’s Wellness at 217-347-1571.

Counseling Services

HSHS Home Care offers four counseling sessions at no charge. Dependent on their needs, patients may meet with a social worker or counselor.