Although one can usually estimate the percentage risk of recurrence following treatment of cancer patients, in each individual there is some uncertainty about long-term cure. One ’s judgment as to possibilities of cure, the possibilities of successful rehabilitation, and the possibilities of prolonged “useful” living will be significant factors in applying a given society ’s philosophy as to how much of its available resources can be justifiably expended on cancer rehabilitation. Even the richest of societies does not have unlimited resources and assigning priorities for resource allocation is as much a political decision as a medical one. For example, expending huge resources for the management of patients with the later stages of cancer, and at the same time, expending little or no resources on education, prevention, appropriate screening (see p. 62) and early diagnosis simply makes no sense. Nevertheless, there are significant possibilities for cancer rehabilitation in most “cured” patients which do not require a large expenditure of resources and this section on rehabilitation is written to emphasise this fact and to urge physicians caring for cancer patients not to overlook rehabilitation. The surgeon ’s responsibility does not end when he puts down his knife in the operating room, nor the medical oncologist ’s or radiotherapist ’s after he has given his drugs or radiation therapy. And it must be further emphasised that even for patients with a poor outlook there are certain rehabilitative services that are extremely worthwhile.
KeywordsVocational Rehabilitation Human Sexuality Physical Rehabilitation Cancer Rehabilitation Psychosocial Rehabilitation
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