The Cancer Rehabilitation Program

There are more than 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. Most have undergone surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or other treatment as a result of this devastating disease. They may also experience a wide range of complications, including damage to the nervous system, radiation fibrosis, lymphedema, fatigue, memory loss and a variety of other often painful and function-limiting conditions.


Under the direction of renowned cancer specialist Dr. Michael Stubblefield, the Kessler Cancer Rehabilitation Program at Kessler Institute provides a safe and effective pathway to functional restoration. It is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program that draws on the expertise of physicians; rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapists; psychologists and neuropsychologists; and other clinicians to tailor treatment to the individual needs of each patient. Together we work to maximize function and the quality of life of those in our care.

Optimizing Individual Outcomes

In addition, we maintain a network of oncologists, surgeons and other medical practitioners to help ensure that any medical issues are addressed and that care is coordinated to allow safe and effective participation in our intensive rehabilitation programs. Services are available across continuum of care – from diagnosis through survivorship and palliative care – and may include acute inpatient and/or outpatient rehabilitation services.

This goal-directed approach is designed to:

  • improve function
  • relieve pain and spasms
  • decrease fatigue
  • improve balance
  • regain mobility
  • build strength and endurance
  • improve memory and concentration
  • reduce lymphedema
  • improve speech and swallowing
  • restore or maintain quality of life

Most important, we provide the patient and his or her family with the support, education, understanding and treatment that can make the difference in life ahead.

Addressing Individual Needs

Kessler’s Cancer Rehabilitation Team carefully addresses the range of challenges and concerns of patients who are dealing with the effects of this disease and its treatment, including but not limited to:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
    • Joint pain
    • Neck or back pain
    • Lost range of motion
  • Neuromuscular disorders
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Nerve damage
    • Muscle damage
    • Loss of strength
  • Post-surgical pain syndromes
    • Pain following breast or other surgeries
    • Back pain following back surgery
  • Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome
    • Dropped head syndrome
    • Lost ability to open the mouth
    • Neck muscle spasms
    • Contracted joints
  • Lymphedema
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, or achiness
  • Bowel and bladder disorders
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Balance or walking difficulties
  • Weakness
  • Memory loss or trouble concentrating
  • Acute and chronic pain

Advancing Care Through Research

As one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation hospitals, Kessler continues to explore new and innovative ways to improve function and quality of life in cancer survivors. Our research programs are designed to investigate the causes of and best treatments for cancer-related fatigue, cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapy (“chemobrain”), radiation fibrosis syndrome, nerve injury, and other disorders associated with cancer and its treatment.

For More Information

For more information about the Kessler Cancer Rehabilitation Program, to schedule an appointment or to make a referral, please contact us at 973.731.3900 x2258 or [email protected]