- Posted by jdavis on June 14, 2011
Globally, 1,300,000 women and over 10,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Exercise may facilitate recovery, improve quality of life and reduce side effects.
Breast cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy and other medications.
Post surgical implications include lessened quality of life and sense of self, fear of death, disfigurement, disability and dependence, and negative body image and sexuality.
Physical implications may include pain in chest, upper back, reduced sensation, loss of range of motion (ROM), strength & function in chest & shoulder, fatigue, weight gain, decrease in overall fitness, and possibly lymphadema which is swelling on affected side and brings other issues.
Benefits of exercise:
- Decrease body fat, increase lean muscle mass
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Increase ROM chest and shoulder
- Strengthen shoulder , back & chest musculature
- Prevent lymphedema & frozen shoulder
- Decrease stress & promote wellness
- Provide interaction & socialization
When may I begin exercise?
Consult with your health care professional. For aquatic exercise, skin must be safe and healed. Comfort in starting your exercise program is paramount. Commitment to keep on keeping on is vital to success.
Exercise in the water is comfortable and appropriate for an individual who is deconditioned. Ease of progression, changing resistance, use of turbulence, changing surface area, increase of ROM, change speed, reverse directions, using drag forces all favor water as a medium. Positive effects of immersion include:
- Increased cardiac output
- More effective respiration
- Weight is deloaded on musculoskeletal system
- Increased effectiveness of renal system adds to reduction of edema
- Tool for self acceptance
- Relaxation in warm water (88-92 deg.F) for more cardio effect and for use with persons with lymphedema, select lower end of range
- Pain reduction
- Weight management
- Sleep enhancement
- Support system effect/socialization
Posture, breathing, know own comfort level, never work through new pain.
Understand safety issues, entry, exit, sculling, recovery and use perceived exertion scale to measure intensity.
Progress as tolerated. In chest deep water:
- Warm up 10 minutes walking alternating forward, backward and to the side.
- Shoulder shrugs, circles, protraction, retraction
- Continue to walk or deep water run or combine lunges, step touches, squats, heel jacks, cross country, jumping jacks, heel touch behind, jump rope
- Range of motion and strengthening: Focus on pecs, deltoids, serratus anterior, lats, rotator cuff.
- Do arm pulls and variations
- Free stretches: arm circles
- Cool down and relaxation