July 2, 2019
RED DEER – People experiencing speech, language, swallowing and related challenges during or following cancer treatment can now receive therapy at the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.
The Alberta Health Services facility has recently added a registered speech language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in cancer-related impairments.
Previously, local and area patients who required cancer-related SLP services would access them at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre outpatient department, which will continue to offer SLP services for non-cancer patients.
Swallowing and speech difficulties in cancer patients and survivors can be impacted by tumour location, head/neck surgery, reconstruction and cancer treatments, such as radiation. Speech relates to the production of sounds through the mouth, vocal folds and tongue. By comparison, language difficulties are typically a result of brain cancer complications and relate to the formulation of words and thoughts, and the understanding of spoken and written language.
Clients can self-refer to the cancer centre’s SLP service or be referred through other healthcare professionals. The new SLP service supplements the cancer centre’s existing suite of rehabilitation services, which include physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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