BREAST CANCER REHABILITATION & LYMPHEDEMA/ SWELLING

Wyatt Breast Cancer Rehab Services provides One-on-One rehabilitation services for patients who are currently undergoing, or who have recently completed Breast Cancer Treatment.  Physical Therapists expertly trained in Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Lymphedema Therapy/ Management develop individualized treatment plans to restore patients to their highest level of function while minimizing and managing Lymphedema Risks.

Breast Cancer Swelling Treatment

OUR BREAST CANCER REHABILITATION ADDRESSES:

 
  • Core Stabilization
  • Pain
  • Lymphedema Risk Education
  • Fatigue
  • Physical Function
  • Quality of Life
    • Strength
    • Flexibility
    • Post Surgical Scar Management
    • Soft Tissue/ Fascial Restriction
    • Posture & Muscle Balance
     

    During Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, potential arm swelling can be assessed through physical exam by Physical Therapists with specialty ongoing training in Breast Rehab.  Bioimpedance also assists in detection very early-- sometimes before the naked eye recognizes the arm edema.  Often if lymphatic massage is needed, i.e., manual lymph drainage, custom compression sleeves can be obtained through Wyatt.  A properly fitting compression sleeve is essential in maintaining proper lymphatic drainage after treatments.

    OUR PROGRAM:

    • Pre-Surgical Assessments
    • Post-Operative Assessments
    • Specialized Treatments & Services
    • Education
    • Onsite Compression Garment   Measuring & Fitting
    • Therapist Run Support/ Advocacy group "The Pea Pod"

    COMMON DIAGNOSES:

    • Lymphedema
    • Shoulder Pain
    • Shoulder Impingement
    • Scapular Instability
    • Adhesive Capsulitis
    • Axillary Web Syndrome/ Cording

    INTERVENTIONS PROVIDED:

    •  Complete Decongestive Therapy
    •   Manual Lymphatic Drainage
    •   Compression Bandaging
    •   Skin Care
    •   Exercise
    •   Self Care
    • Garment Measurements/ Fittings
    • Circumferential Measurements and Bioimpedance Monitoring
    • Postural Training
    • Progressive Therapeutic Exercises
    • Soft Tissue and Joint Mobilizations
    • Myofascial Release
    • Self Care Training
    • Family/ Caregiver Instruction
    • Modalities
    • Kinesio Taping

    Lymph node removal and radiation therapy places individuals at lifelong risk for lymphedema in the ipsilateral arm, chest, upper back, and trunk.  Patient education and early identification of lymphatic dysfunction are key goals at Wyatt.  Our focus is to begin the appropriate intervention thus preventing progression of this chronic condition and decreasing the risk of infections.  

    Wyatt supports the position statement of the National Lymphedema Network which promotes Screening and Measurement for Early Detection of Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema to improve patient outcomes.

    The January 2013 edition of Breast suggest that Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema- BCRL is the most common disease/morbidity associated with women who have breast cancer.  A retrospective study of 107 patients showed 56% of BCRL occurred within 2 years of surgery.  In this study Complete Decongestive Therapy was used and a 50.5% reduction in volume was attained.  According to the study, established baseline measurements are an important tool in determining excess volume.  Please call Wyatt to discuss our Breast Cancer Rehabilitation programs and pre-operative assessments.

    A 2013 retrospective meta-analysis in the Journal of Physiotherapy reviewed 34 studies to determine effectiveness of exercise programs in patients who had undergone treatment for Cancer.  The results suggest statistically significant benefits in body weight, peak oxygen consumption, strength, physical function, and quality of life.  65% of the individuals reviewed possessed Breast Cancer.  This result strongly supports Breast Cancer Rehabilitation programs.

    A 2012 study evaluated 62 women and the effectiveness of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) in the prevention of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery.  At 6 months after surgery, among the women who did not undergo MLD, a significant increase in the arm volume on the operated side was observed (p=0.0033) when compared with the arm volume before surgery.  There was NO statistically significant increase in the volume of the upper limb on the operated side in women who Underwent MLD.  The study demonstrated that regardless of the surgery type and number of lymph nodes removed, "MLD effectively prevented lymphedema of the arm on the operated side" even in high risk breast cancer treatments. i.e., operation plus irradiation.

    (Lymphology. 2012 Sep; 45(3): 103-12.)

    In a 2012 study published in Cancer, Integrating Regular Surveillance For Breast Cancer patients as Routine Care is supported.  Early diagnosis potentially contributing to more "effective management and prevention of progression".

    Cancer 2012;118(8 suppl):2237-49

    In a 2007 study of 622 Breast Cancer Survivors, "Fifty-four percent reported arm or hand swelling by 36 months after surgery, with 32% reporting persistent swelling.  Swelling was reported to occur in the upper arm (43%), the hand only (34%), and both arm and hand (22%)."  Their Conclusion in the study indicated "Lymphedema occurs among a substantial proportion of young breast cancer survivors...."  

    (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2007; 16(4): 775–82)

    Breast Cancer Edema
     
     

    ARM LYMPHEDEMA BEFORE AND AFTER LYMPHEDEMA TREATMENT

    Arm Lymphedema edema
     

    Lymphedema usually develops in the extremities on the side of the body where cancer treatment has occurred.  (left)   Therapy can reduce the swelling dramatically (right).   (National Cancer Institute Bulletin   May 29, 2007 • Volume 4 / Number 18)