Prostate cancer – aftercare and rehabilitation
Prostate cancer – aftercare and rehabilitation, When the medical treatment of a tumor disease is completed with the aim of healing (operation, radiation), the phase of aftercare begins. On the one hand regular recurrences (a re-emergence of cancer) are to be recognized in time. In addition, accompanying and follow-up diseases can be diagnosed and treated, for example disturbances during the discharge, swelling of the lower limbs or thromboses. And last but not least, after-care is also about helping the patient with his physical, psychological and social problems.
Aftercare – control is better …
The follow-up phase begins no later than three months after completion of the operation or radiation therapy. In the first two years, medical examinations take place at intervals of about three months, in the third and fourth year semi-annually and thereafter annually. Primarily, the PSA value is determined. If it remains stable, further investigations can be dispensed with.
Rehabilitation – the way back into everyday life
A cancer is always a major event for those affected. When the treatment is finished, it does not mean that most patients will be able to return to their daily routines. Their physical performance is often compromised, and many are also struggling with mental problems.
During and after the therapy, it is therefore important to be physically fit and mentally stable as quickly as possible; Where appropriate, it is also necessary to restore the ability to work. In order to support this return to life, cancer patients are entitled to rehabilitative services following the treatment of tumors.
Rehabilitation should be planned as soon as possible after surgery or radiation therapy. In most cases, the treating physician already provides information on which rehabilitation facilities could be considered. If not, legally insured patients can contact REHA’s central services. But the addresses of the service centers can also be requested from health insurance funds or pension insurance companies.
What is rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation involves physical and psychosocial measures for “restoration”. They target or prevent physical, social and occupational restraint caused by the disease. In addition, the patients are to be supported in coping with their illness in everyday life.
Medical rehabilitation services include:
- Medical and nursing care, drug therapy,
- Psychosocial services to improve the quality of life, to assist in the treatment of the disease, to reduce anxiety and depression,
- Sports therapy to restore physical performance, to alleviate the fatigue syndrome and psychosocial stress
Treatment of the consequences of the operation or irradiation, Eg pelvic floor gymnastics with urinary incontinence.
Stationary or outpatient?
Rehabilitative measures can be carried out on a stationary, semi-stationary or outpatient basis. Which choice is chosen depends on the individual requirements of the patient: which therapies are still running, how is their family situation, there are suitable outpatient facilities in the vicinity of the home, among others
Inpatient rehabilitation: Patients are treated around the clock in a specialized rehabilitation clinic. There are different offers, all in one place. It is also an advantage that the patients can exchange their experiences.
Subpatient rehabilitation: During the partial station rehabilitation, the patients stay in the rehabilitation center from morning to afternoon, but return home in the evening and on the weekends. This possibility is particularly interesting for patients who live near a rehabilitation clinic and are physically well off.
Outpatient rehabilitation: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutritional counseling, psychotherapy – facilities at the place of residence offer ambulant a wide range of rehabilitation measures, without a stationary stay is necessary. Outpatient rehabilitation is suitable for patients who would like to stay in their home environment and where they do not have a suitable rehabilitation clinic for semi-stationary care.
Who bears the costs?
The costs for rehabilitation measures are covered by health insurers or the pension insurance scheme in the case of insured persons. What insurance is ultimately the benefits depends on various factors, Whether a re-entry into the working life is planned. The respective contract applies to private insured persons.
Back to work life
For career reintegration, cancer patients are entitled to so-called “benefits for participation in working life”. These include vocational education and training as well as the reimbursement of costs for technical work aids or training grants. When the activity is resumed step by step, the “Hamburg model” takes effect: As long as the patient is not yet fully operational and only works on a pro rata basis, he still receives sickness or transitional allowance.