Oncology rehabilitation program

Recent research demonstrates that engagement in exercise programs such as the St Vincent’s Private hospital Oncology rehabilitation program both during and after cancer treatment can help manage some of the common side effects of treatment, speed up your return to your usual activities, and improve your quality of life.

Our six-week oncology rehabilitation program aims to help manage the various side-effects and physical and psychosocial changes that can occur when undergoing cancer-related treatment, including surgical interventions.

This holistic program aims to optimize wellness and function and promote confidence in self- managing after a diagnosis of cancer or after undergoing cancer therapies.

The organized group program combines health education, exercise and support for patients who have cancer.

We provide each patient with an individual, supervised exercise program and specific referrals to members of the multi-disciplinary team, where appropriate.

The program includes:

  • an initial assessment by rehabilitation physician to establish if you are suitable for the program
  • assessment by a physiotherapist who specialises in oncology rehabilitation
  • assessment by an occupational therapist
  • a customized exercise program supervised by a physiotherapist
  • weekly information sessions presented by specialist clinicians and allied health staff
  • weekly mindfulness/ relaxation program run by our occupational therapist
  • an open forum to ask questions and share experiences
  • a discharge assessment, where we measure your progress and help you plan how to maintain lifestyle changes

Program Details

  • Participants attend twice a week for six weeks.
  • Each group session consists of one hour of tailored exercise, followed by one hour of information.
  • Information sessions include topics such as:
    • Pharmacy - the effect of medications and managing side-effects
    • Improving and maintaining cardiorespiratory function and general physical strength
    • Nutrition
    • Emotional wellbeing
    • Fatigue management strategies
  • Patients are welcome from various cancer streams and at various stages of treatment.
  • Sessions are provided in a supportive group environment at the St Vincent’s Private East Melbourne Day Therapy Rehabilitation centre
  • This is a client centred program where clients, carers and families are supported to achieve their rehabilitation goals.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have a primary diagnosis of cancer within the past 24 months or have had surgery/ treatment for cancer recently
  • Aged 18 years and over
  • Current physical status allows for participation in the exercise component of the program
  • Cognitive status allows for participation in the education component of the program


  • Your oncologist, oncology liason nurse, surgeon or general practitioner may refer you to the program.
  • You will be assessed by our rehabilitation specialist first to determine if you fulfil the criteria to attend the rehabilitation program.


Most private health insurances cover the full cost of the program. We will complete a health fund check and notify you of any cost involved prior to commencement of the program.

Parking is available at no cost to all patients attending the program.

Program details


Every Monday and Wednesday from 1pm-3pm or 2pm-4pm for 6 weeks


St Vincent’s Private Hospital Day Therapy
St Francis Building
Ground Floor. 166 Gipps St East Melbourne VIC 3002

What to bring

Please bring:

  • Any scans, reports, investigations and list of medications to your initial assessment
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and walking shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Feel free to bring a support family member, friend or relative if you would like to for the initial assessment

Contact us

For enquiries or bookings:

Tel: 03 9928 6077

Fax: 03 9928 6888

Do I need a referral from a medical practitioner?

Yes, but we can do a health fund check first and then let you know if you are fully covered.  You can then request the referral from your specialist.

For referrers

Email referral to: SVPEM.DayTherapyInta@svha.org.au


St Vincent’s Private Hospital Day Therapy
St Francis Building
Ground Floor. 166 Gipps St East Melbourne VIC 3002

NB: During COVID19

We can now offer our full program via telehealth.

Please contact us in the same manner and we will guide you through the telehealth experience.