Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

Medical Reviewer: Ashley Perry, PT, DPT, MTC
Last Updated: June 21, 2021

How breast cancer rehabilitation helps

Rehabilitation services before, during or after breast cancer treatments has been shown to greatly improve overall recovery time after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy for all types of breast cancer.

Participating in a structured and skilled rehab program can reduce the likelihood and severity of functional decline that can occur during breast cancer treatment.

Our clinicians are trained to address many of these impairments including but not limited to, decreases in range of motion, shoulder or neck pain, axillary cording, lymphedema, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue or balance issues.

Breast cancer rehabilitation services we offer

  • Prehab services provide education, obtain baseline measurements, identity and address any pre-existing impairments that may hinder recovery time.
  • Post-op Care is designed to restore prior level of function or highest recovery. Brooks’ clinicians are trained to understand the unique surgical interventions and reconstruction procedures frequently seen in breast cancer treatments. This allows for tailored treatment plans to restore function faster and safer.
  • Lymphedema Therapy addresses a wide spectrum of lymphedema treatments. Lymphedema is swelling that can occur in the limb after surgery or radiation treatment. Our clinicians provide services to those who are at risk for lymphedema as well as those who have already been diagnoses and need direct intervention.
  • Conditioning / Strengthening is a phase of recovery that focuses on specific or generalized strengthening, overall conditioning and /or endurance. Cancer treatments can often leave you tired, weak or fatigued. Supervised exercise by a trained clinician has been shown to be the most effective treatment.

How we help you recover

Brooks’ oncology therapists often work with patients actively going through cancer treatments. Maintaining or increasing activity levels during treatment has been shown to help individuals better tolerate treatment as well as minimize potential long lasting effects of those treatments.

Often people realize they are not back to their prior level of function once they complete cancer treatments or maybe they have a new back or shoulder pain from surgery or immobility during their treatments. Rehab clinicians trained in oncology can help to restore function, decrease pain and advance patients to their highest level of recovery.

Our clinicians understand the long road taken by many cancer survivors, their knowledge and understanding helps patients shorten their recovery time and return to the activities that they love.

What to expect

Each patient seen by one of our clinicians will receive and individualized treatment plan.

Upon your first visit, you will meet with a clinician from physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology or a combination of each for a one on one consultation. In that first meeting the clinician will get to know your story. Where are you on your cancer journey, what types of treatments have you had or plan to have? What are your goals, what is important to you? They will also take many objective measures to get a baseline understanding of your health.

The clinician will then take all this information into consideration and devise a treatment plan to help you achieve your goals. Frequency and duration of therapy treatments vary per individual and their needs.

You can arrive at your initial evaluation in comfortable clothing. If you have recently had surgery please be prepared that the clinician may ask to see your surgical site to assess for proper healing or swelling in the area. Clothing that allows access to the under arm such as a tank top under your clothing is optimal.

Connect with us

Depending on your insurance you may need a referral from your doctor for therapy services. Some insurance allows for direct access for 30 days prior to needing an order from your MD, check with your insurance company for confirmation. Orders can come from your primary care, surgeon or any one of you oncology doctors. Orders can be sent to:

Referral for Outpatient Rehabilitation
Central Intake Unit (CIU)
P: (904) 345-7277 or (888) 323-8005
F: (904) 345-7280

Medical Reviewer

Ashley Perry, PT, DPT, MTC

Oncology Program Coordinator
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