If you’re a breast cancer survivor, you’ve overcome the fight of a lifetime. So why does it often feel like the battles have only just begun after treatment ends? For the 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, and those still undergoing treatment, the healing process can be emotionally and physically demanding. Patients might find themselves suffering from common symptoms, including loss of joint motion, fatigue, and pain. Depression, anxiety, and feeling scared that cancer might return, are all very real concerns during survivorship. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT) is raising awareness to let cancer survivors know they are not alone after treatment ends.
Coping with emotional stressors: During treatment, patients have a myriad of support including health care providers, family, and friends. Once patients enter into remission, the amount of assistance received might subside. Physical activity can be extremely instrumental in providing an opportunity for stress-relief. Try taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or swimming laps with a friend. Yoga can provide a deep sense of calm if you’re anxious.
Finding a support group can help to connect patients with other individuals who understand the challenges of recovery, in ways that others might not. A safe space to express feelings of anger and sadness can help you learn to overcome negative emotions associated with cancer. It’s essential to give yourself time to heal. It’s okay to regain your strength slowly, building up to activities you loved before being diagnosed with cancer. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provides an in-depth guide, “Your Emotions after Treatment.”
Coping with physical challenges: After treatment, patients might experience swelling from fluid build-up, caused by damage to, or removal of the lymph nodes, called Lymphedema. South County Physical Therapy, Inc. provides a continuum of care that addresses Lymphedema, loss of joint motion, weakness in the extremities, fatigue, scar tissue, and pain – so you can get back to being you faster.
As part of the Oncology Rehabilitation Program at SCPT, your physical therapy team will work with you to achieve recovery goals and help you transition to independent exercise. SCPT’s unique network of contacts including massage therapists, patient advocates, and support groups can help you work towards a full recovery. Benefits of the program include decreased pain and Lymphedema symptoms, empowerment to return to pre-cancer activities, and improved function.
Make a step towards feeling better in survivorship, by learning more about the Oncology Rehabilitation Program at South County Physical Therapy, Inc. We hope to be your support system as you face the final hurdle of recovery.