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Physical Therapy For Patients Battling Breast Cancer And Beyond

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and in honor of that, we're sharing a blog for those who are or have suffered from breast cancer. Battling breast cancer is no easy feat and it can take a huge toll on those diagnosed and the people around them. Patients battling breast cancer will most likely require treatments, such as:

  • Lymph node resection

  • Lumpectomy

  • Mastectomy

  • Radiation

  • Chemotherapy

  • Hormone replacement therapy

  • Breast augmentation

All these procedures can have long term effects on our body systems, including but not limited to:

  • Pain (42%)

  • Fatigue

  • Range of motion restriction/shoulder impairment (24%)

  • Strength deficits

  • Bone Loss/Osteoporosis (77.8%)

  • Lymphedema (20-30%)

  • Sexual dysfunction (77%)

  • Peripheral neuropathy (50% of those taking aromatase inhibitors)

  • Anxiety/depression

Physical therapy can be a great resource for breast cancer patients before, during, and after treatment to help establish baseline measurements and function, provide education for during and after breast cancer treatment care, reduce the above-mentioned symptoms during and after breast cancer treatment, and help return to things you like to do with minimal pain and discomfort.

HOWEVER, there are less than 20% of breast cancer patients being referred to a physical therapist!

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if physical therapy may be an option for you.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please reach out to a certified physical therapist for an evaluation.

Dr. Yvonne Huang


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