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Physio & Breast Cancer

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Recovery from breast cancer treatment, particularly if surgery has been performed, can take some time. Hands on Physiotherapy is an important part of regaining full function following your breast cancer treatment.

What are the issues facing people who have had breast cancer?

It is very common for people with breast cancer to undergo surgery and radiotherapy as part of their treatment. As a result of these treatment options, is is quite common to be left with other issues. These can include:

  • pain

  • scar tissue

  • loss of movement in the arm

  • loss of strength in the arm

  • changes in sensitivity

  • lymphatic cording

  • lymphodema

Recovery from surgery

Recovery from surgery varies from person to person and will be very dependant on what type of surgery you have had.

Breast cancer surgery involves removal of tissue from the breast region and often, removal of lymph nodes. Due to the large area that breast tissues covers, it is common to experience difficulty with daily activities for a period of time following surgery. These can include things like getting dressed, doing your hair or reaching above your head.

It is normal for these things to be difficult in the early weeks after surgery, however it is not normal for this to continue and become your ‘new normal’.

What about radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is another common treatment for people with breast cancer. Like surgery, radiotherapy can affect movement in the shoulder.

Why is it important to restore and maintain movement in your shoulder?

Difficulty restoring full movement in the shoulder is one of the most common complaints for people following breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy. It is also one of the most important goals to achieve.

Our bodies are very clever at finding ways around limitations. We learn to compensate with other parts of our bodies, often without realising we are even doing it.

The problem here, is this is not how our bodies are designed to work.

If we put increased pressure on other parts of the body, to make up for a lack of movement elsewhere, it will inevitably lead to pain and further dysfunction.

Restoring movement is also important so that you can enjoy life without needing to compromise on what you can do!

How can a Physio help?

Physiotherapists are skilled in the assessment and treatment of issues that have caused the musculoskeletal system to stop working properly. This is done through hands-on manual therapy, gentle exercises, education and advice.

The Physios are Lift have experience in the area of breast cancer and will be able to guide you through this process.


You do not need a referral to see one of our Physiotherapists.

Making an appointment

To make an appointment please call Lift on (08) 7231 8000. In most cases we will be able to provide you an appointment within a few days.


Initial Visit: $85 (30 minutes)

Subsequent Visit: $80 (30 minutes)


A rebate of $53.80 from Medicare may apply.
Alternatively, you may be able to claim through your private health insurer (under your extras cover).

Please ask the Lift staff for more details if you are unsure of what your out of pocket cost will be