Breast cancer programme reduces lymphoedema risk
An exercise programme for patients who have undergone breast surgery helps minimise the risk of lymphoedema.
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in Australia has developed a nation-wide programme to help motivate women who have had surgery for breast cancer. The YWCA Encore Program provides a way for women to improve their overall fitness, gain support and learn about taking care of themselves after surgery. The free eight-week course helps prevent lymphoedema by promoting a regular exercise routine and increases flexibility and mobility.
According to Cancer Australia, 20% of breast cancer patients develop secondary lymphoedema after treatment. While exercising is not conclusively preventative, there have not been any reports of lymphoedema being initiated or worsened by exercise.
Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer in Australian women where one in nine are diagnosed with the condition.
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Image: Breast cancer ribbon. Credit: sunsets_for_you on Flickr.