The Netherlands Cancer Institute considers support and rehabilitation during and after your treatment as a core part of your medical treatment. If you are hindered in your day-to-day activities by your illness or medical treatment, you may qualify for multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment. Consider serious fatigue, decreased overall shape, problems continuing your work or role in the family, fear and depressive symptoms. Besides the regular rehabilitation program, the NKI offers a specialized rehabilitation program for people with head and neck cancer. 


Personalized care

Oncological rehabilitation asks for a multidisciplinary approach. This means that multiple therapists are involved in your rehabilitation program. A team of expert therapists, led by a rehabilitation physician, will come up with a personalized care plan together with you. Rehabilitation involves various aspects (modules). The modules you will take, depend on the type of help that you need and the symptoms that you experience. Modules can be taken privately as well as in a group. The Netherlands Cancer Institute offers the following modules: 

Energy distribution coaching

Your energy levels may be limited because of your treatment. One of our occupational therapists can help you come up with a plan to learn to understand and use your available energy levels, and can make a day planning with you that matches your energy levels. 

Physical training

Our physical therapist guides you through a training program made for you to improve your strength and shape, and to perform your activities to the best of your abilities.

People who remain physically active during their chemotherapy usually experience several benefits. 

Psychosocial guidance

Many (ex) cancer patient sexperience anxiety or depressive symptoms. Depending on the severity of your problems, our social workersspiritual counselorspsychologistspsychiatrist or occupational therapists can help you and your situation.


Mindfulness is a treatment method that shows a positive effect on patients with cancer in terms of self-sufficiency and general wellbeing. It can help lower stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, or fatigue. 

Information about and support for cognitive problems

if you notice that you are struggling to focus or remember things, you can follow a special program with one of our psychologists and, if needed, an occupational therapist.

→ Cognitive problems with cancer and cancer treatment

Nutrtition and diet

Dietitians can offer advice before, during, or after your treatment about the best food so you can be in the best shape possible at the start of your treatment, and ascertain the optimal recovery during and after your treatment.

If you are overweight (a likely side effect of treatment involving hormone therapy), our dietitians can offer a suitable nutrition plan so you can prevent unwanted weight gain, and/or lose weight. 

Chewing and swallowing

if you are experiencing trouble swallowing or if you cannot fully open your mouth, you can follow swallowing rehabilitation and treatment to help you open your mouth from a speech therapist and/or a physical therapist.

Speech and smell

After treatment for laryngeal cancer you will need to relearn how to speak and smell. Our specialized speech therapists can help you with swallowing and olfactory rehabilitation.

Work reinstatement

If you have questions about work or work reinstatement and would like additional support, we can offer various types of guidance that can allow you to pick up your work and to discuss your situation with your employer, and come up with solutions together.

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