Calling Cancer's Bluff: Research in Vaccine Therapy for Cancer Is Paying Off
June 11, 2012 – Laura Beil
Facing the Facts: HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers Get a Second Look
June 15, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
Road to Recovery: Cancer Rehab Defines the New Normal
June 10, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Trials & Tribulations: Pursuing a Clinical Trial Requires Determination and Education
June 11, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Seeing Red: Coping with Anger During Cancer
June 10, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
The Write Stuff: Expressive Writing About Cancer Promotes Healing and Well-Being
June 11, 2012 – Katy Human
Letting Go: Saying Goodbye When a Loved One Says Itís Time
June 13, 2012 – Don Vaughan
ASCO Updates
June 12, 2012 – Staff Reports
Leukemia Survival Rates Greatly Improved, Study Says
June 16, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Swift Thanks Absentee Date at ACM Awards
June 15, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
CT Challenge Survivorship Summit
June 16, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Q&A: Counterfeit Chemotherapy Drugs Cause Concern
June 16, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Cruciferous Veggies May Ward Off Recurrence
June 15, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Comments from our Readers
June 14, 2012
Shifts in Causation, Biology and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
June 13, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Light Bright: Awareness of Skin Sensitivity
June 12, 2012 – Lacey Meyer
EPA Plans to Cut Radon Program, Despite Continued Cancer Risk
June 16, 2012 – Jane Hill
Sweet Relief: Could Chocolate Prevent Cancer?
June 14, 2012 – Melissa Gaskill
My Oncology Angel
June 14, 2012 – Greg Schilling
June 13, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Better, Stronger, Happier
June 16, 2012 – Carole Schneider, PhD
Questions to Ask About a Clinical Trial
June 16, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
Rx-Fueled Anger
June 15, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Expressing Oneís Thoughts
June 16, 2012 – Katy Human
Myths About the Dying Process
June 16, 2012
First Steps: Vaccine Research
June 15, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Prevention is the Best Medicine When It Comes to HPV
June 16, 2012 – Charlotte Huff
Is Rehabilitation Right for You?
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Currently Viewing
Breast Cancer Call to Rehabilitation & Exercise Action
June 16, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
Finalist Essay: My Christmas Carol
June 14, 2012 – Wendy Crowther
Finalist Esssay: Not Just a Nurse, But Also an Angel
June 15, 2012 – Cesar Quesada
We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America
June 15, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Two Congressional Bills on Colorectal Cancer Introduced
June 19, 2012 – Lena Huang
Recognizing Actinic Keratosis
June 19, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Tips on Finding Insurance Coverage for Cancer Rehabilitation
July 02, 2012 – Kathy LaTour

Breast Cancer Call to Rehabilitation & Exercise Action

BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED June 16, 2012

A concert pianist was told not to play the piano after breast cancer surgery because it could cause lymphedema.

A young mother couldn’t lift her baby because of shoulder weakness two years after treatment.

“It’s a travesty,” says physical therapist Jill Binkley, founder of TurningPoint Women’s Healthcare, a nonprofit breast cancer rehabilitation clinic in Atlanta. “We are seeing 300 women a year in our clinic, and it’s the tip of the iceberg. These are all women who have breast cancer and have ongoing issues because of surgery and other treatments.”

Binkley, who is a 12-year survivor of stage 3 breast cancer, joined other researchers who recognized women’s unmet physical needs and the increasing evidence for an expanded rehabilitation approach for breast cancer patients. As a result she became part of the planning committee of an early 2011 meeting of leaders and stakeholders in the area of breast cancer rehabilitation and exercise that was supported by the American Cancer Society. The result of the meeting is a special supplement published in April in the journal Cancer??: “A Prospective Surveillance Model for Rehabilitation for Women with Breast Cancer.” The articles explore rehabilitation and exercise as they relate to ongoing efforts to devise creative, multidisciplinary solutions to address the physical and functional needs of the growing population of breast cancer survivors. (You can read the supplement here.)

“A prospective surveillance model means each woman receives a pre-surgery baseline, post-surgery assessment and ongoing surveillance for the physical side effects of treatment,” says Binkley. The model is a proactive approach to periodically examining patients during and after disease treatment, in an effort to enable early detection of and intervention for physical impairments known to be associated with cancer treatment. Women are educated throughout the process of surveillance about the benefits of exercise and the importance of early rehabilitation intervention when physical or functional impairments are identified.

There is a compelling body of evidence that rehabilitative and exercise interventions benefit breast cancer survivors.

“There has been broad agreement that there is a compelling body of evidence that rehabilitative and exercise interventions benefit breast cancer survivors and that establishing better ways of connecting survivors with these interventions is warranted,” says Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Recommendations in the supplement include:

> Promoting surveillance for common physical impairments and functional limitations associated with breast cancer treatment;

> Providing education to reduce risk or prevent adverse effects and facilitate early identification of physical impairments and functional limitations;

> Introducing rehabilitation and exercise interventions when physical impairments are identified; and

> Promoting and supporting physical activity, exercise and weight-management behaviors through the trajectory of disease treatment and survivorship.

Additional articles in the supplement address the challenges of integrating the model into survivorship care delivery, as well as exploring the model in relation to long-term issues of follow-up; post-reconstructive issues; upper body and lymphedema issues; treatment’s impact on the development of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy; cancer-related fatigue; cardiac toxicity; weight management; bone health; physical function; clinical practice guidelines; cost considerations and stakeholder perspectives. Binkley says she hopes the supplement will draw attention to the unmet needs of women with breast cancer, make rehabilitation and exercise a routine part of their care and offer hope for improved quality of life. 

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.

Related Articles


Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In