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  • Carol Michaels

The Effect of Breast Cancer Surgery and Treatments on Cancer Survivors' Balance

The breast cancer survivor’s balance can suffer after surgical procedures. We find this to be especially acute with the TRAM flap procedure where the rectus abdominus is altered. Poor core strength has a negative effect on balance. A breast cancer survivor has to learn how to compensate for this change of muscle placement through a series of exercises designed to strengthen the remaining muscles such as the obliques.

Balance can deteriorate as we age even without cancer. Some of the chemo-therapies can affect your balance. Neuropathy can cause balance issues for the breast cancer survivor.

Balance Rehabilitation

The good news is that balance rehabilitation can counter some of the effects of muscle imbalances and body asymmetry after cancer surgery. Rehabilitative balance training will help decrease the likeliness of falling.

Falls are dangerous for older women with weaker bones and for cancer survivors. Breast cancer survivors are at higher risk for osteoporosis due to chemotherapy and cancer medications. Being nervous about falling may cause you to withdraw from daily activities and decrease quality of life. Breast cancer survivors may need arehabilitative exercise program which includes strength training and flexibility work to maintain or improve balance.

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