We understand that even after cancer treatment, you might still have questions and concerns about your health. We want to empower you to face the physical and emotional challenges of cancer, so that you can continue to lead a full and rewarding life. We believe in lifelong breast health, and our Center exists solely to ensure the highest level of breast health for our community. Our survivorship program helps breast cancer survivor to meet their future medical, emotional and financial needs and concerns.
The STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Program has been adopted by hospitals and cancer centers in nearly every state in the U.S. and now is only available in the Washington Metro Area at Virginia Hospital Center at Virginia Hospital Center. To become STAR Program certified, the Hospital’s physical, occupational and speech therapists, and nurse navigator received in-depth, evidence-based training in oncology rehabilitation based on the protocols of the STAR Program.
The effects of cancer treatments can cause sometimes cause pain in the chest, difficulty carrying and lifting things, and sleep issues. Some survivors may stop driving because they have trouble turning their head. Physical therapy can help restore cervical range of motion.
Peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation in the fingers and toes), as well as fatigue and chemo brain are other common side effects. Physical and occupational therapy can help patients improve their balance and fine motor movements, and speech and occupational therapists can help with strategies for short-term memory, focus and attention.
“When patients go through medically-supervised rehab in our STAR Program, we know what cancer treatments and medications they have had,” says Sandy Austin, Assistant Director, Rehabilitation, and Coordinator of Virginia Hospital Center’s STAR Program. “We look at the whole patient and provide a specialized exercise program.”