Supportive Therapies

Treating the Whole Person, Not Just the Disease


MultiCare Regional Cancer Center is committed to treating the whole person, not just the disease. To add to the most advanced surgical and medical treatments, we give patients access to a wide array of integrated services.

In addition to mainstream treatment, cancer patients can take advantage of programs to help manage pain, relieve side effects, reduce stress and uplift the spirit. MultiCare offers the following integrated services:

Lymphedema RehabWhen you’re preparing for and undergoing certain types of cancer treatment you sometimes require medically guided exercise, physical or occupational rehabilitation, speech therapy or lymphedema care.

Our licensed, clinically trained rehabilitation staff is dedicated specifically to the care of patients with cancer and providing them with a full spectrum of expert rehabilitation services. The staff is available to evaluate, treat, guide and consult with patients and assure optimal function, recovery and physical performance with the following services:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pelvic floor therapy and continence training
  • Occupational therapy
  • Vestibular and balance therapy
  • Lymphedema therapy
  • Neurologic rehabilitation
  • Speech, language and swallow therapy
  • STRONG MEDicine Program (Medical Manual therapy Exercise by Design)
  • Hand and upper-extremity therapy
  • Living Well Education Series

Rehabilitation Treatment

Rehabilitation can be an adjuvant treatment dedicated to assisting individuals through the physical challenges of cancer treatment and recovery. Specialized therapists are highly trained in the recognition of the side effects that can result from cancer treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapies.

Before cancer treatment, rehabilitation can help you build strength and endurance. While you are undergoing treatment, it can help you maintain your physical well-being and functional independence and reduce pain and discomfort. After treatment, rehabilitation can help you regain function, improve strength and decrease fatigue.

When you have been changed by a serious illness or injury, rehabilitation can help restore your physical ability and improve your quality of life. The scope of rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical Therapy: Aims to improve your quality of life and independence by improving your ability to be active and comfortable. Physical therapists evaluate movement potential and help establish agreed upon goals to reduce pain, improve mobility and restore physical function/performance. Depending on your condition, you may focus on flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination and/or balance.
  • Occupational Therapy: Aims to help you live as independently as possible. The goals of occupational therapy are to assist and train in performing activities of daily living (ADLs), such as grooming, dressing, eating, playing with your children and interacting with family and friends. Occupational therapists help you identify those activities, devices and tools that will improve strength, function and problem-solving.
  • Speech-Language Pathology: Aims to help you communicate your wants and needs with ease and clarity, and assist you with eating and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists help you with speech production, vocal production, language needs, swallowing problems and other related disorders through speech therapy.
  • Lymphedema Therapy: Aims to reduce chronic edema through a certified therapist using complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Complete decongestive therapy can involve short stretch compression bandaging to reduce edema, manual lymphatic drainage, skin care, therapeutic exercise and compression garment fitting.

Learn more about rehabilitation services.

Integrative medicine blends  mainstream methods of treatment with complementary and alternative therapies. Integrative therapy is not used in place of conventional treatment, but as a part of your cancer treatment to promote well being and alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.

Learn more about integrative medicine at MultiCare.

HospiceMultiCare Home Health and Hospice Services provides assistance with managing a chronic condition, post-surgical care and providing palliative and hospice care.

Home Health is a physician-ordered service designed to enable patients to maximize their ability to function safely at home by teaching patients and their caregivers how to provide effective, appropriate care. Symptom management, medication management, mobility and home safety issues are among the many needs covered.

Hospice care is designed for individuals who are entering the last phases of a terminal illness. The goal of our program is to help you live as fully and comfortably as possible — with dignity and respect. We also support your family, friends and caregivers by answering questions, discussing concerns and offering comfort.

Learn more about our services.

SeniorsThe aim of palliative care is to ease suffering caused by a life-threatening or life-limiting illness or injury. It is a medical specialty with a team approach. You can get palliative care at the same time you get treatments that are meant to cure you.

Palliative medicine can:

  • Control difficult symptoms like pain, nausea and shortness-of-breath
  • Partner with you and your family to make medical decisions and treatment choices
  • Listen and give support at all stages of illness and injury
  • Offer suggestions based on knowledge of your values and how you want to live your life

Inpatient consultations are provided at Tacoma General Hospital at the request of the attending physician. Outpatient consultations are provided at MultiCare Regional Cancer Center locations and can be arranged by calling the clinic.

Learn more about outpatient palliative care.