How can physiotherapy help patients with breast cancer?

2018-10-24 06:00

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IT is October again and that means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Thanks to the breast cancer awareness initiatives that have become popular over the past few years, and the rise of social media, more and more people are surviving breast cancer due to early detection and treatment.

• Surgery — mastectomy (removal of the breast) or lumpectomy (removal of the lump only).

• Chemotherapy.

• Radiation.

• Hormonal/target therapy.

These treatment options are all aimed at saving lives but they do come with side effects that can severely impair your health and quality of life.


• pain in the neck, chest and shoulder;

• surgical scar tightness;

• limited range and strength in the shoulder, neck and spine;

• lymphoedema (abnormal swelling in the breast, arm, hand or torso);

• neuropathy (damage to the nerves due to chemotherapy or growth of the cancerous tissue over the nerves in the upper body); and

• cancer-related fatigue.

Physiotherapy treatment for any of these side effects has shown to be very benef- cial.

Your physiotherapist will design a treatment programme tailored to your specific needs to help manage these side effects and complications from breast cancer treatment, to help you improve your overall function and quality of life. — Supplied.

Breast Cancer



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