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Osteopathic Treatment for Breast Cancer Recovery

Osteopathic Treatment for Breast Cancer Recovery

Following breast surgery, radiotherapy, and or the removal of lymph nodes as a result of breast cancer treatment, many women develop changes in their breast, chest and trunk appearance. Lumps, bumps, ridges and swelling can be painful as well as disfiguring. These physical changes can be distressing but they occur as part of a natural healing process due to scarring, adhesions, swellings, seromas (fluid build-up) and tissue texture changes. 

Scarring is fibrous tissue that is made up of collagen and replaces injured skin or fills up the hole after tissue has been removed. It is a necessary part of wound healing and it can continue to mature for up to 2 years. Radiation therapy alters tissue composition , making tissues thinner, harder and more brittle. The removal of lymph nodes can create cord-like structures under the skin which is thought to be caused by inflammation and scarring of the tissues that surround the lymph vessels, blood vessels and nerves. We all have different skin types and this can determine how we heal and how we form our scars. 

There are many other side effects commonly seen which include restricted shoulder, neck and arm movements, numbness and nerve pain, lumpy and hardened breast tissue, rippling of implants, Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome, Lymphoedema and debilitating pain from cording ( Axillary Web Syndrome).

Osteopathy can help in managing all of these changes and the symptoms and side effects that patients experience as part of the cancer treatment process. Even changes that occur or remain many years after surgery can still be improved with treatment.

Extremely gentle, hands-on osteopathic techniques encourage tightened and restricted tissue to become flexible again. Softening the tissue allows the scars to flatten and become less noticeable. Treatment can help with associated neck, shoulder and arm pain and movement and other side effects with the aim of reducing swelling easing pain and increasing movement.

Vanessa is a highly experienced, caring and compassionate osteopath who is interested in helping women with their post cancer treatment care to support empowerment and improve overall health and wellbeing  Vanessa is available for consultations at Elemental Health on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 

To make an appointment contact (02) 8084 0081 or book online 

Posted on 6 May 2022
Author:Vanessa Malone
Tags:OsteopathyHolistic cancer support

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