Rehabilitation after breast cancer

Even after the course of treatment in the hospital is over and the doctor said that the results are very encouraging, the fight against cancer can not be stopped. Cancer is an extremely aggressive disease, and the methods of its treatment are also not soft. As they say, in war all means are good. However, many medical techniques in themselves are harmful to health. Therefore, rehabilitation after cancer is an obligatory part of the fight against this disease.

Recovery from cancer-an important step in the fight against cancer

Aggressive cancer treatment-chemotherapy and surgery — is fraught with many complications. Among them — postoperative pain, disruption of the digestive system and kidneys, lymph stagnation, joint problems, anemia, hair loss, severe weakness, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting (frequent companions of chemotherapy). In addition, tedious treatment and uncertain prospects for the future often lead to neuroses and depression. To reduce these manifestations to a minimum is possible if the rehabilitation program is started in time.

Recovery after Oncology includes several directions. First (and this most important!), it is necessary to improve health and, if possible, to eliminate the damage caused by surgery and chemotherapy. Many patients are also concerned about the restoration of appearance, but this is not the purpose of rehabilitation therapy, but rather its consequence. The main thing now is to eliminate somatic disorders and bring blood counts to normal.

Secondly, people who have survived cancer need the help of a psychotherapist. Cancer is a very serious test, and without working with a specialist, patients can develop psychological problems such as increased anxiety and depression.

Third, social and household rehabilitation is necessary. Cancer changes a person’s life, and with these changes you need to learn to live.

A particularly important task is to restore vitality, as fatigue and chronic fatigue are one of the most common consequences of chemotherapy. The decline of forces makes the patient passive, deprives the will to recover and does not return to the usual way of life. However, a properly designed rehabilitation program helps to cope with this.

In some types of cancer (for example, breast cancer), a complete return to the usual way of life without rehabilitation is possible only for half of the patients.

Directions of rehabilitation after cancer

Rehabilitation after any cancer involves a comprehensive approach and continuity. In other words, for successful recovery from cancer, it is necessary to use various methods of active rehabilitation and adhere to a systematic approach. Rehabilitation after Oncology includes the following areas:

  • Psychological rehabilitation. Work with a psychotherapist is necessary — it will help to find and use the mental resource needed to fight the disease. Doctors are unanimous: a patient who retains the will to live and a positive attitude, is much more likely to overcome cancer. There is even a special specialization is psychooncology such doctors working in cancer clinics and centers of rehabilitation after cancer.
  • Recovery of muscle strength and endurance. Therapeutic exercise is also important, it allows you to maintain muscle tone and build muscle mass, improves blood circulation and accelerates healing after surgery. In addition, exercises contribute to lymphatic drainage and removal of edema. But it is necessary to be engaged under control of the doctor-too intensive loadings bring more harm, than advantage.
  • Effects on the metabolism of the body.
    Chemotherapy has the most devastating effect on metabolic processes. It is for this reason that cancer patients often lose weight and experience weakness. For the normalization of metabolic processes prescribe the intake of minerals and vitamins, and exercise therapy. Strengthening of immunity. Chemotherapy reduces the body’s natural defenses, and even a simple cold, which the immune system of a healthy person copes with in a couple of days, can be a serious problem for a patient who has undergone several courses of cancer treatment. To strengthen the immune system, vitamin complexes, gymnastics, special diets, physiotherapy are used.
  • Restoration of cognitive functions. Memory, attention, the ability to concentrate also suffer after a course of chemotherapy. Often, patients note confusion or admit that they forget about the simplest everyday things. To restore cognitive functions, drugs that normalize the work of brain vessels, dietary and vitamin therapy, as well as special exercises are used.
  • Rehabilitation aimed at the return of everyday skills. Ergotherapy-a method of restoring lost motor skills, which has been used for many years in European clinics. In Russia, this is a relatively new direction. Ergotherapy is the gradual development of an algorithm of movements necessary to perform everyday tasks.
  • Prevention of lymphostasis. According to statistics, lymphostasis (lymph stagnation) develops in 30% of patients with malignant tumors. It limits mobility, causes swelling and pain. For the prevention and control of lymphostasis, a special massage, pressure therapy, as well as hardware techniques, such as treatment with lymphatic drainage apparatus Lympha Press Optimal, allowing you to accurately observe the force of pressure.
  • Prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is not uncommon in cancer patients, especially those who suffer from prostate, breast or ovarian cancer. To combat osteoporosis, a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, light exercise and a course of medications for osteoporosis (most often prescribed biphosphonates) are prescribed.

Features of recovery after cancer of different localization

Rehabilitation after breast cancer

The most common problems that occur in patients after breast cancer — swelling of the hands due to stagnation of lymph after mastectomy, stress and depression after surgery to remove the breast, the formation of painful (and unsightly) scars, as well as all the General consequences of radiation therapy. For lymphatic drainage used physiotherapy, pressure therapy and massage, as well as therapeutic exercises. It is very important to work with a psychotherapist, because often the removal of the gland leads to the development of inferiority complex and depression. Conditionally to rehabilitation methods it is possible to carry prosthetics of a mammary gland. The terms of rehabilitation after breast cancer are individual, but on average it takes 12-24 months to recover.

Rehabilitation after gastric cancer

Recovery from gastric cancer takes time: it is very difficult to accelerate the fusion of the tendon and muscle corset after surgery. However, it is still possible to relieve the condition after gastric resection. Diet plays an important role. If you eat incorrectly, the food will get into the intestine half-digested, and it is harmful and extremely unpleasant. The diet for recovery from gastric cancer should be balanced, rich in proteins, but low in carbohydrates, salt and spices. It is necessary to take enzymes and gastric juice, it will help to normalize digestion. If all the rules of rehabilitation therapy are observed, the rehabilitation period takes 9-18 months.

Rehabilitation after prostate cancer

Problems with urination-one of the most noticeable consequences of prostate cancer. Therefore, the rehabilitation program includes exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They are necessary in order that after removal of the catheter the bladder could again “learn” to function normally. Recovery from prostate cancer lasts 3-6 months. Six months later, the functions of the bladder and pelvic floor muscles are fully restored in 96% of patients undergoing rehabilitation. It should be remembered that the erection will recover more slowly-on average, it takes 6-12 months. To speed up the process of restoring the erection, it is recommended to take phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors.

Speaking of rehabilitation, usually involve measures taken after surgery or chemotherapy. But no less important is preventive rehabilitation - preparation for treatment. It is recommended to undergo a course of psychotherapy, the purpose of which is to allow a person to understand the need for treatment and mentally prepare for it. Sedatives that improve sleep and relieve nervousness are also used. Even before the operation, it is necessary to take measures to strengthen the blood vessels, kidneys, liver — vitamin and medication are used for this.

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