October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Women in the United States have a 12% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Treatment for breast cancer can include radiation, chemotherapy, and/or a radical mastectomy.
A radical mastectomy involves removing the involved breast and some of the musculature attached to reduce the chances of the cancer from spreading throughout the body. Following a mastectomy, many women experience post-surgical pathologies such as lymphodema, pain, and shoulder dysfunctions that can affect their everyday function and quality of life.
Women who undergo a mastectomy are 6 times more likely to experience shoulder restriction and pain. Residual effects of surgical scarring can affect the movement of the shoulder and other pathologies such as Adhesive Capsulitis(Frozen Shoulder) can occur. A frozen shoulder is when the capsule (a “cellophane wrap” surrounding the humerus) tightens and causes restriction in shoulder movement. Combined with weakened postural muscles of the chest and upper back, a frozen shoulder can cause dysfunction of the entire shoulder complex resulting in disability.
Physical Therapy has been proven to be very effective in treating both men and women who have undergone radiation and surgery for the treatment of breast cancer. Our Doctors at Moriarty Physical Therapy are skilled in techniques to help treat pathologies such as adhesive capsulitis, shoulder dysfunction, lymphodema, and other varying disorders that are the result of Breast Cancer Treatments. Moriarty Physical Therapy can provide a warm and intimate environment to help each patient achieve full recovery. If you or someone you love has undergone surgery or radiation therapy recently or in the past, and they are having difficulty with their recovery, have them schedule an appointment at Moriarty Physical Therapy today!