How soon to exercise after mastectomy?

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Question from Casey: How soon can I exercise after having a mastectomy?
Answers - Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. There are several exercises that can be done soon after your surgery, as long as your surgeon says it's OK. These are exercises to improve range of motion on the side where you had surgery. These exercises can help prevent shoulder stiffness and get those muscles working better again. There are several books for breast cancer survivors that describe exactly what these exercises entail. In terms of more intensive exercise, it really depends on the individual woman and how she's feeling and the recommendations she gets from her surgeon.

We know that most women err on the other side; they become inactive after their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment rather than too active. So the first goal is to gradually return to the level of activity you were able to handle before you were diagnosed.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Taking Care of Yourself featured Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about exercise and nutrition, and other things you can do to nurture your body, along with strategies for finding emotional support, boosting your mood, and feeling good again.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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