Lymphedema is a common complication of lymph node resection during breast cancer treatment, and can be helped through physiotherapy.
Cancer Rehabilitation Treatment
Cancer is a systemic disease, meaning a disease that affects the whole body – and trained physiotherapists can be a vital and valuable part of a cancer rehabilitation health care team.
Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Cancer rehabiliation (rehab) can help all types of cancer, at all stages of the disease – by positively impacting the physical and emotional well being of the person diagnosed with the disease.
Cancer rehab can also help prepare for treatment, help lessen the side effects during treatment, and help in the process of returning return to leading a full happy life after treatments are completed.
Cancer treatments can include surgical resection, chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, hormone and immunotherapy. Treatments can be hard on the body, and often come with difficult side effects. Physiotherapy treatments for cancer rehab can help manage many side effects of cancer treatments.
Fatigue & Connective Tissue Changes
Fatigue is a very common complaint, during and after cancer treatment, which can be greatly helped with an individualized supervised exercise program.
Connective tissue changes and thickening, as well as adhesions and scars, can affect range of motion and reduce one’s joint and general mobility. These changes cannot only affect function during treatment, but can also appear at a later time, after treatment has ended.
Physiotherapy and massage therapy can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and regain strength. These therapies can help prevent long-term loss of mobility and function.
Lymph Node Resection & Lymphedema
When surgery involves lymph node resection, there is a risk of developing lymphedema. Lymphedema is a life long condition. It is caused by a build up of fluids that can lead to swelling in the arm or leg.
Physiotherapy can provide education on proper skin care and self care after lymph node resection, which helps lessen the risks of developing lymphedema, and help with early detection and management.
Trust a trained professional to help detect, treat, and manage issues faster!
Learn More About How Physiotherapy Can Help
Trained physiotherapists, such as our own Evelyn Laroche, can be a vital part of a cancer rehab health care team. They provide compassionate care including education, manual therapy treatments, and individualized supervised exercise programs, which address the special needs of the cancer survivors. They can help clients at all stages of their cancer management, with the ultimate goal of returning them to the best life possible.
There are many types of breast cancer that affect both women and men. This creates many problems that can be helped with breast cancer rehabilitation.
1. Lane K, Worsley D, McKenzie D. Exercise and the lymphatic system: implications for breastcancer survivors. Sports Medicine [serial online]. April 2005;35(6):461-471.
2. Warren A, Brorson H, Borud L, Slavin S. Lymphedema: a comprehensive review. Annals Of Plastic Surgery [serial online]. October 2007;59(4):464-472.
3. Lymphedema Framework. International consensus. Best Practice for the management of lymphoedema. London, UK: Medical Education Partnership Ltd; 2006.
4. National LymphedemaNetwork »
5. Canadian Cancer Society »
6. Steele J. Advanced rehab techniques for Breast cancer management-workbook. 2016
7. Steele J. Lymphedema Management Workbook. 2015
8. Steele J. Rehab techniques In Oncology-workbook. 2016
Ready to get started on the path to better mobility and a healthier lifestyle?
Contact Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans today.