One in every eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during their lifetime Another 61,000 women will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer, along with 2,600 men. Cancer treatments vary widely, depending upon the stage of cancer that has developed. Cancer is a debilitating disease that affects the body and an individual’s self-image. Individuals may experience weakness, nausea and vomiting, along with hair loss or thinning and mouth sores.

Painful joints and muscles are common, but even knowing what to expect during treatment can come as a shock when the effects begin to appear on an individual’s own body. It’s disheartening for breast cancer patients to discover that they can’t perform ordinary household tasks due to fatigue or loss of muscle strength.

Breast cancer has a strong emotional and psychological component that can be alleviated through physical therapy. Fear, poor sleep, worry and depression are common.

Physical therapy can help people feel better by:

  • Easing pain
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Promoting bone density
  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Reducing stress and depression
  • Ridding the body of toxins
  • Decreasing swelling and inflammation
  • Treating lymphedema


Therapies for breast cancer will vary widely depending upon the needs of the individual and your physical therapist is one of the first lines of defense against the many symptoms associated with breast cancer treatment, surgical solutions, and the effects that can linger long after the cancer has been removed. One of the most beneficial treatments for cancer patients is exercise to prevent bone loss and maintain strength.  A customized exercise program will be created that factor in the type of cancer treatments you’re receiving, your overall health and physical condition.  Your physical therapist has multiple methods to help you attain the exercise you need. Physical therapy can also help you with shortness of breath due to fluid that may collect around the lungs. In addition, your physical therapist can assist you with nutritional counseling and dietary supplements to ensure you’re obtaining the right mix of nutrients.

Breast cancer strikes fear into the hearts of men and women who have been diagnosed, along with family and loved ones; it can be scary and have far reaching effects.  Physical therapy can help you meet those challenges of the body, mind and quality of life.