Pediatric Rehabilitation Services - Cancer Rehabilitation

Reducing side effects, improving quality of life

Cancer treatment and surgery can make children tired — both physically and mentally and may affect a child’s cognitive or speech and language skills. Rehabilitation therapy can improve their quality of life, help them stay active and progress age appropriate skills.


Research shows that physical activity has many benefits for kids with cancer. It reduces side effects of cancer treatment or surgery and helps your child better tolerate treatment and continue with daily activities. Regular exercise reduces fatigue and enhances mood. It also improves sleep, decreases anxiety and strengthens their immune system.

Fairview’s pediatric cancer rehabilitation helps your child safely increase his or her activity level. Our physical and occupational therapists have additional training and experience working with cancer survivors. After evaluating your child’s needs and goals, they’ll work with you and your child’s health care provider to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Infants and toddlers can also experience developmental delays from being too tired or ill when undergoing treatment for cancer. Our physical and occupational therapists can help your child learn age appropriate motor skills. Our speech and language pathologists can help your child with speech delays, swallowing issues or feeding concerns

What we work on
  • Address feeding and swallowing issues related to cancer or cancer treatment
  • Address speech and language delays related to cancer or cancer treatment
  • Decrease pain and reduce nerve discomfort
  • Increase strength and endurance
  • Improve range of motion, balance and flexibility
  • Improve independence in daily activities
  • Improve attention, organization and problem-solving
  • Learn ways to conserve energy
  • Progress age appropriate motor skills 
  • Provide education to help prevent and reduce cancer-related physical and mental fatigue
  • Recommend adaptive equipment that may help your child
Examples of treatment
  • Child and family centered care with parent involvement
  • Play based activities or exercise at age appropriate levels
  • Skilled support and hands on techniques to guide child to learn new skills or regain skills
  • Goal setting that is individualized and motivating to each child
  • Combine tasks to work on motor, balance and play skills
  • Improve flexibility through stretching, relaxation
  • Increase stability through strength and balance activities
  • Improve developmental skills such as rolling, crawling, and learning to walk
  • Self-care activities such as brushing teeth or getting dressed
  • Create home exercise programs to increase strength and endurance with daily routines
  • Teach how to modify tasks and equipment for increased independence
  • Provide splinting or work with an orthotist to provide custom splinting or orthotics
  • Assess cognitive abilities (thinking/reasoning/judgment) and safety teach ways to change how your child does things to make up for lost abilities
  • Provide specialized programs such as edema/lymphedema treatment
  • Improve language skills (communication)
  • Help children with language developmental delays
  • Evaluate and treat feeding issues

Our team
Our team includes physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists who have additional training and experience working with cancer survivors.

Related services
  • Edema/lymphedema (swelling) treatment
  • Home care
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Oncology
  • Orthotics

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Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.
Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
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