Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women

Physical Therapy & Chemotherapy 

  • Individualized exercise programs, maintain healthy body weight
  • Decrease fatigue levels, joint pain & overall weakness from treatment
  • Neuropathy management (nerve damage)
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduce stress & anxiety

Surgery, Reconstruction and Radiotherapy  

  • Pre-operative assessment, education and guidelines to minimize dysfunctions post-surgery
  • Postural education and pain management
  • Range of motion & shoulder mobility restoration
  • Stretching tight structures/muscles
  • Strengthening weakened muscles
  • Restrictions, precautions & contraindications to physical activity/exercise
  • Progressive core/abdominal strengthening
  • Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome (RFS) prevention and management

Axillary Web Syndrome, also known as  “cording”

  • Rope-like structures under armpit, sometimes extending to elbow, wrist or palm of hand
  • Can appear several days, weeks or months after surgery
  • May limit range of movement & treatment restrictions for radiation therapy
  • Specialized physiotherapy techniques used for treatment

Breast Cancer & Hormonal Therapy

  • Hormonal therapy such as: Tamoxifen, Anastrozole (Arimidex), Exemestane (Aromasin), Letrozole (Femera), Goserelin (Zoladex) can lower estrogen levels
  • Estrogen protects a women’s bones and prevents a breakdown leading to osteopenia (reduced bone mass) or osteoporosis (bones become brittle and fragile)
  • Other cancer-related treatment can cause early menopause (ex. oophorectomy, chemotherapy)
  • Women with osteoporosis have a higher chance of breaking a bone (or fracturing)

Physical Therapy for women receiving Hormonal Therapy:

  • Bone mineral density evaluation
  • Postural assessment, education and exercises
  • Individualized exercise program and cardio program to minimize bone loss and keep bones strong
  • Osteopenia and/or osteoporosis education, prevention and management
  • Fracture education & prevention techniques
  • Osteoporosis Canada guidelines-Bone fit program