Lymphedema therapy and pelvic floor therapy in Kansas City

The cancer rehabilitation (rehab) program at HCA Midwest Health is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program providing outpatient rehab to all patients and survivors in our care affected by cancer, whether you are newly diagnosed or in remission.

Our goal is to improve your daily function and quality of life. To do this, our skilled cancer rehab specialists create customized programs to address a wide range of symptoms for all types of cancer.

If you would like more information about our cancer rehabilitation services, call our cancer wellness team at (816) 276-3213.


Sarah Cannon Cancer Institutes at HCA Midwest Health are accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) as quality programs. This means our hospitals exceed the quality care standards set out by the CoC and consistently provide excellence in patient-centered care.

Cancer-related conditions we treat and manage through rehab

Cancer and cancer treatments can cause a wide range of conditions that may make life difficult. Our cancer wellness team strives to keep patients as active as possible to maintain strength, quality of life and energy levels.

Our experienced team of therapists works with individuals to address rehab needs for a variety of cancer- and cancer treatment-related symptoms, including:

  • Balance difficulties
  • Cognitive challenges such as "chemobrain"
  • Emotional and social concerns
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Numbness in feet or hands
  • Pain
  • Pelvic floor pain or dysfunction
  • Scar tissue restriction
  • Walking difficulties

What to expect from cancer rehab

Our cancer rehab program requires a physician's order. During your first appointment, a skilled rehab therapist will evaluate your physical abilities and challenges. You will also have an opportunity to address your concerns and work with us to establish goals and create a personalized rehab plan. Throughout cancer rehab, you will work with our rehab specialists to achieve your goals and improve your quality of life.

Cancer-focused rehab therapies

Our cancer-focused rehab team offers one-on-one physical therapy and rehab sessions to help our patients achieve their goals. Our individualized rehab plans may involve a range of specialized therapies, including:

Lymphedema therapy

Lymphedema occurs when the body cannot move lymph (a fluid containing white blood cells) through the body properly, causing lymphatic fluid to build up in areas that have had trauma and/or lymph nodes removed. In patients who have received cancer treatments, lymphatic fluid may build up in and around areas that have been treated.

The goal of lymphedema therapy is to improve your swelling and create a plan to manage swelling at home effectively. In addition to effectively reducing swelling during treatment, lymphedema therapy can also help to decrease the incidence of cellulitis with appropriate home management following treatment.

To improve your condition and reduce the amount of lymph accumulating in your body, our lymphedema therapists may use techniques, including:

  • Compression garments
  • Exercise
  • Pumping
  • Wrapping

Please note that lymphedema therapy services are covered by insurance. Coverage of compression garments varies per insurance.

Pelvic floor rehabilitation

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that can affect men and women who have had surgeries in the pelvic region, a change in hormones and/or radiation therapy to the pelvic floor region. Pelvic floor dysfunction may cause the following:

  • Bladder issues that cause an inability to store and void urine
  • Difficulty controlling bowels
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Vaginal dryness and pain in women

In men, common diagnoses that impact pelvic floor function include:

In women, common diagnoses that impact pelvic floor function include:

Our pelvic floor therapists are physical and occupational therapists who have had special training in pelvic floor therapy. Our therapists use a range of treatments to help improve our patients’ pelvic floor function, including:

  • Behavior therapy
  • Exercises to help with pelvic muscle control
  • Soft tissue mobilization of pelvic floor muscles

Physical therapy

Cancer treatments can have major effects on energy levels. That's why the most common side effect of cancer treatment is fatigue. Physical therapy helps you build strength and increase functionality after cancer treatment. Our physical therapists empower you to participate in and have control over your physical improvements.

Cancer and cancer treatments can cause a wide range of side effects that may improve through physical therapy, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Endurance issues
  • Fatigue
  • Imbalance
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Pain
  • Reduced sensation
  • Strength
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain

Some of the techniques that our physical therapists use include:

  • Education
  • Exercise
  • “Hands-on” techniques

Occupational therapy

Cancer treatments may make taking care of yourself difficult. Occupational therapy helps you become more independent and assists patients in performing activities of daily living, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Household duties
  • Sleeping

With occupational therapy, you will be able to maximize your functionality, both physically and psychologically. Our occupational therapists help assist patients to increase their:

  • Energy
  • Mobility
  • Range of motion
  • Safety
  • Strength

To help you return to the daily activities you enjoyed prior to cancer treatment, our occupational therapists use the following:

  • Assistive device fitting
  • Bed positioning
  • Caregiver education
  • Exercise
  • Patient education
  • Wheelchair fitting

Speech-language pathology

Cancer treatments may impact your ability to communicate, swallow and/or impair your cognition. Speech-language pathology can help with these conditions.

Our speech-language pathologists help to improve:

  • Your ability to clearly express yourself
  • Your ability to comprehend what is being presented to you through verbal or written communication
  • Your ability to process, organize and remember information or activities as they relate to your daily life, including:
    • Areas of attention
    • Memory
    • Orientation
    • Organization
    • Problem-solving
    • Reasoning
  • Your body’s ability to efficiently swallow without excessive difficulty

Comprehensive cancer wellness

Our cancer wellness team is committed to offering comprehensive cancer support services. The cancer wellness program at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest is a free resource that helps patients achieve wellness in all aspects of life, from diagnosis through survivorship. Our wellness team is made up of cancer experts, exercise specialists and registered dietitians who can guide you to a healthy lifestyle that takes your cancer treatment into consideration.

If we cannot meet your needs for physical strength and endurance at one of our hospitals, our cancer wellness team will work with your physician to refer you to a formal therapy program.