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Monday, 20 November 2017
First-of-its-kind initiative takes rehabilitation into patients’ homes
27 July 2016

Patients who have been treated for breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital are now able to continue their rehabilitation in their own homes thanks to the release of an innovative exercise DVD.

The Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Programme DVD has been put together by hospital staff working closely with qualified instructors Zoe George and Theresa Palmer. It provides a step-by-step guide to exercises specifically designed to help tackle some of the common problems associated with treatment, which can include stiffness, lack of strength and restricted movement in the shoulders, neck and back.

The initiative is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and comes following the success of the hospital’s breast cancer exercise class programme, which is offered to everyone who has received treatment and is held over six weeks in Felixstowe and Ipswich.

Macmillan survivorship lead Louise Smith, who is based at Ipswich’s John Le Vay Cancer Support and Information Centre, said: “We are really excited about the launch of this innovative DVD, which we hope will make a real difference to hundreds of patients and give them the confidence to continue their rehabilitation at home.

“It includes several short workouts designed to address the side effects of surgery or radiotherapy while improving people’s posture, range of movement and shoulder and upper back strength. Put together by qualified instructors, the exercises will also redress the balance in the upper body while reducing the risk of developing lymphedema, which can be a serious long-term condition.

“We’ve had some really good feedback from people who have tried the exercises, and say their range of movement has improved and they have less pain, discomfort and tightness around scars. This is great news as it means they are able to get back to doing the things they enjoy more quickly.

“It’s really important for people who have been treated for breast cancer to stay active, as a healthy lifestyle is key in helping to prevent the cancer from reoccurring. Patients will need to carry on doing these exercises for the rest of their lives, and we hope the DVD will give them any guidance they may need to do just that.”

The DVD has been paid for with charitable funds and is available from the John Le Vay Cancer Information Centre. It is free for anyone who has received treatment at Ipswich Hospital.