Tuesday 15 October 2013

Minimizing the Effects of Breast Cancer Through Cancer Rehab

Getting Back to Living - Not Just Surviving - After Breast Cancer

Even after surviving breast cancer, many patients find that although the treatment has ended, the cancer experience has not. The impact of cancer treatment and surgeries on psychological, emotional and physical well-being affects individuals in many ways causing problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased strength and mobility in shoulders
  • Muscle aches
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Lymphedema

Cancer Rehabilitation Helps Minimize the Side Effects

The risk of developing lymphedema, or swelling in the arm, can be minimized through early cancer rehab treatment. A specially trained Physiotherapist can help to minimize the risk of developing lymphedema through exercise and education. It is vitality important to manage signs and symptoms early. Manual lymph drainage, provided by a certified therapist, has also been shown to effectively treat lymphedema and should even be considered proactively to prevent it in the first place.

Patient receives acupuncture after undergoing cancer treatment
Other benefits of cancer rehabilitation include exercise prescriptions to reduce the pain and fatigue that may be a result of the radiation or surgery that breast cancer patients have received.   Massage therapy, acupuncture and TENS can be used successfully to manage pain and parathesia, in addition to reducing stress. By seeking rehabilitation early, the research has shown we can prevent complications from occurring down the road, such as shoulder tendonitis or frozen shoulder. 

Restoring breast cancer survivors' previous level of function is a primary goal of cancer rehabilitation, and each client will have a tailored treatment plan to meet their individual goals.

Breast Cancer Affects 1 in 9 Canadian Women

Breast cancer survivors can minimize the risk of developing lymphedema through cancer rehabilitation
According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer affects 1 in 9 Canadian women in their lifetime, and it is estimated that in 2013 23,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Non-modifiable risk factors are listed as gender and age, personal & family cancer history and genetics, early menstruation and late menopause, breast density and breast conditions. Lifestyle choices included in the list of modifiable risk factors are smoking, body weight, physical activity, alcohol use, exposure to hormones (the Pill, in vitro fertilization, and hormone replacement therapy), among others. 

If you are a breast cancer survivor or a friend or family member of a breast cancer survivor, please visit one of our British ColumbiaSaskatchewanOntario, or Nova Scotia locations.

1 comment:

  1. I was very happy and glad to read through your blog. The information available here is great.

    South Orange County Post rehabilitation