Specialised health services, such as dietitians or physiotherapists, are often referred to as allied health. Allied health services can help you and your family manage treatment side effects. Allied health services play a significant role in getting you through your treatment and meeting your recovery goals.
Ensuring that you have good nutrition during cancer treatment can help you manage certain side effects, such as nausea or weight loss, and maintain energy throughout the day. Dietitians work with you to make sure that what you are eating meets your recommended nutritional intake while you receive cancer treatment. If your treatment impacts your ability to chew, swallow or speak, a speech therapist can teach you exercises and techniques that help to manage these issues.
During cancer treatment you may find that your body has difficulty completing some of your usual daily activities. An occupational therapist can help you enhance your quality of life and maintain your independence, especially if you have trouble performing daily tasks or are experiencing memory loss or fatigue.
Cancer diagnosis and treatment can affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. You may have difficulty concentrating or paying attention, or may need emotional support during this time. A psychologist or even a psychiatrist may be able to help.
Pain and movement
Common side effects of cancer treatment include having decreased strength and difficulties with movement. A physiotherapist can help you to manage and improve any of these changes.
Exercise can also help you to manage certain cancer treatment side effects. An exercise physiologist will work with you to develop a safe and effective exercise program designed for your fitness level during and after treatment.
Sexuality and intimacy
During cancer treatment you may go through physical and emotional changes, which can also impact your sexuality. Seeking advice on ways to develop and maintain your intimate relationships can help. Emotional therapy with a psychologist or counsellor can assist you to explore any issues you are having and provide practical advice and support.