Breast Cancer and Pilates

I recently attended two days of training about Breast Cancer.

In the UK, 1 in 2 people will get cancer some time in their lives; and 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. Risk factors are:

  • age – 80% of breast cancers are in women over the age of 50
  • lifestyle – about 40% of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle choices
  • genetics – 5% are genetic, e.g. BRCA mutation

The number of cancer survivors is growing. By 2030, England will have over 3 million people living with or beyond cancer.

Post-surgery, physiotherapy can help recover maximum movement and function. Beyond any subsequent treatment, exercise can: help improve physical and psychological well-being; improve, function; manage the consequences of treatment; and reduce the risk of other diseases. To resume exercise, start little and often with regard to feeling unwell any discomfort or symptoms that may worry you. The Macmillan website has a Move More Guide.

Once you have moved from patent to survivor, Pilates offers:

  • gradual progression and return to normality
  • regain control of your movements
  • neutral rather than medical environment
  • focus on your whole body
  • regular routine
  • physical confidence
  • social group
  • long term support

Physically, Pilates can help build your muscle mass, improve your strength and endurance, increase your range of movement and energy levels.

If you have had breast cancer, I will ask you to complete a supplementary enrolment form, so I can better understand your treatment and any special considerations that might apply for the exercises that you should do.