Breast Cancer. How Physio can help.

The most common treatment for breast cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy. Your treatment plan may include some or all of these, either way it is most likely you will experience some side effects.

Some of the physical symptoms you may experience are:

  • Axillary Web Syndrome or cording
  • Post-surgical scar tissue tightness
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Radiotherapy tissue tightness
  • Cancer related fatigue

These symptoms explained:

Axillary Web Syndrome or cording as it is more commonly known, is a side effect of breast or axillary surgery.

  • Up to 72% of people undergoing axillary surgery and over 20% of those undergoing breast surgery are affected by cording
  • It is caused by inflammation and eventually hardening of nearby bundles of blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerve. .

Post-surgical scar tissue tightness

  • Following surgery, you will have scar tissue that can feel tight, hard and lumpy.

Reduced range of movement

  • With all the trauma to the breast, back and shoulder regions you may experience a decrease in your range of movement in these areas due to soft tissue tightness.
  • This can affect your every-day normal way of life, eg washing your hair or driving. 

Radiotherapy tissue tightness

  • During radiotherapy, your breast can begin to feel sore and the tight. 

Cancer related fatigue 

  • Cancer related fatigue is the biggest side effect. It can be extremely debilitating. 

How can specialist oncology physiotherapy help:

  • The good news is that cording is 100% curable through manual releasing of the cords and gentle stretches. It can resolve itself within 2-3 months but you will notice an immediate improvement with physiotherapy.
  • Physiotherapy helps with gentle scar release & muscle tightness.
  • Soft tissue release and gentle stretches can give you back your range of motion.
  • Louise Malone will give you a personalised exercise programme to help with fatigue: focusing on your own goals and enabling you return to work and life. 

Emotional support

Coming to terms with the physical changes in your body can be hard. Louise has years of experience and can assist by reducing the physical changes that scar tissue can cause plus empowering you through a bespoke exercise plan, giving you a sense of control during a time where you have so little. These testimonials say it all.

Louise Malone is our specialist oncology physio: if you would like to speak to her in confidence, then please email her. If you are post treatment and would like to get back into exercise then Louise can advise you during a one-off session. Louise currently works out of both Chelsea and Fitzrovia Clinics.