October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
We've all seen the little pink ribbons that pop up every October to remind us that breast cancer...
Seeing a physical therapist after undergoing knee or back surgery isn't unusual, in fact most expect it; however, including physical therapy as an integral part of a breast cancer patient's post-surgery rehabilitation is relatively new. Now, physical therapists are collaborating with other medical professionals to help those suffering from breast cancer achieve their optimal quality of life, whether they've had minor surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatments or a double mastectomy.
Managing Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
The goal of post-surgical physical therapy or therapy during breast cancer is to reduce pain and restore the function of body parts that are heavily impacted by treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. Some of the side effects that physical therapy can help mitigate include:
Some of these conditions may become chronic while others will disappear once treatment ends. Whether you're facing a temporary inconvenience or a life-altering condition, your physical therapist can help you assess your needs as well as prepare you for a positive post-cancer recovery.
Breast Cancer and Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can address many of the issues you may face during and after breast cancer treatment. Some of the rehabilitation exercises and treatments a physical therapist can provide include:
Facts About Breast Cancer and Physical Therapy
According to a 2019 article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a publication of the American Cancer Society, the number of cancer survivors in the United States continues to increase because of advances in early detection or treatment, also coupled with the growth and aging of the population.
Many factors contribute to this increased survival rate, not the least of which is the involvement of physical therapists in the multidisciplinary approach to treating breast cancer. Let's take a look at some facts on the role of physical therapy in breast cancer patients:
The bottom line is this: breast cancer treatments can be rough on the body, but individualized physical therapy can help patients sustain the strength they need during treatment as well as repair and restore the body in the aftermath of defeating cancer.
There are a myriad of stories of women who survived breast cancer and share their experiences in the hopes of helping other women through what can be tumultuous, frightening times. To find some of these inspirational postings, click through the sources below:
As physical therapy becomes a more integral part of cancer care and recovery, more people are recognizing the role complementary treatments played in their healing. For example, one survivor cited physical therapy as the reason she regained mobility in her shoulder and arm post-op. After mastectomy, she developed adhesions and tightness that prevented her from fully extending her arm, but physical therapy sessions twice a week helped her regain full range of motion.
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be a life-altering event. But with the help of your doctor and the expert hands of a physical therapist, it's a storm that can be weathered. If you suspect there's a problem brewing in your breasts, see your doctor immediately.
As a retired nurse and teacher, I now spend my time writing freelance as well as working on my debut novel. Please like, comment and share. Thank you!