All month we are bringing you educational articles on breast cancer topics in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Previously, we discussed the causes and symptoms of breast cancer. Now let’s talk about treatments. In this article, we are going to focus on some of the treatment options available to breast cancer patients.
Radiation therapy uses high energy particles to damage cancer cells and prevent them from dividing while minimizing the effect on nearby healthy cells. Several side effects include nausea, fatigue, and skin issues.
Chemotherapy, or chemo, involves using various drugs to terminate cancer cells. It can be used to help cure, control, or ease symptoms of the cancer. Chemo can work well to fight breast cancer, but it also causes side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and hair loss.
In order determine a breast cancer diagnosis, your doctor may perform surgery to obtain a tissue sample for testing. Based on the results of that test and others, a lumpectomy or mastectomy may be recommended to remove the cancerous tumor and surrounding tissue. Radiation, chemotherapy, or hormonal therapies may be added for better outcomes. Reconstructive surgery is an option following mastectomy to help rebuild the appearance of a breast. Complications of surgery may include pain, scarring, weakness, and numbness or tingling.
Physical therapy won’t directly treat breast cancer, but it is often utilized in conjunction with the above treatment options. Rehabilitation is particularly important after breast cancer surgery. Post-operatively, physical therapy can help patients acclimate to bodily changes, increase range-of-motion, reduce pain, and reduce lymphedema risk.
At OrthoRehab Specialists, our physical therapists have over twenty five years of experience treating Minnesota patients for a variety of injuries and conditions. We are one of the only physical therapy clinics in the state that specializes in physical rehabilitation for breast cancer patients. If you have recently gone through breast cancer surgery and are experiencing pain, or decreased range-of-motion, make an appointment for physical therapy. Our clinic offers direct access to physical therapy, meaning you can get an appointment without a prescription from your primary care physician. Contact us at our Edina or Minneapolis physical therapy clinics today to set up your appointment and see how physical therapy can help you get back to your activities safely.