The Breast Cancer Survivor's Fitness PlanThe Harvard Medical School Guide to

The Breast Cancer Survivor's Fitness Plan Carolyn M. Kaelin

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Exciting new research shows a simple prescription — regular physical activity — can cut breast cancer recurrence rates and extend survival. In her new book The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan, Dr. Carolyn Kaelin, founding director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, provides effective, inspiring workouts tailored for each type of surgery and adapted for differing fitness levels. Dr. Kaelin, a leading breast cancer surgeon and a survivor herself, knows first-hand the unique challenges millions of women face while undergoing treatment and long afterward. She also understands and carefully explains the important links among exercise, recovery, and quality of life.

Designed with master trainers Josie Gardiner and Joy Prouty, this well-rounded regimen can help women feel strong again while protecting bones, rebuilding muscle, improving flexibility and balance, and enhancing vitality and all-around health.

The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan offers detailed, up-to-date information on safety concerns following surgery and other treatments and provides survivors with ways they can fight:

  • Accelerated bone-thinning,a possible prelude to osteoporosis linked to chemotherapy and a new class of anticancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors
  • Creeping weight gain that may raise risk for breast cancer recurrence, cut short survival, and contribute to health and self-image concerns
  • Lingering exhaustion from cancer treatments that put a damper on daily life
  • Dwindling muscle coupled with gains in fat – a condition doctors call sarcopenia – that affects health, activities, and self-image
  • Changes in flexibility and balance that interfere with everyday activities or enjoyable pursuits and may cause injuries
  • Shoulder weaknesses and injuries that make even simple activities like opening a jar or slamming the trunk of a car difficult following surgeries, especially when physical rehabilitation isn’t offered
  • Myths and fears about lymphedema, a painful, chronic swelling in the arm or torso when lymph fluid backs up because lymph channels have been altered by surgery or radiation
  • Discomfort from menopausal symptoms triggered by anticancer drugs

The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan is dedicated to easing or erasing these challenges through evidence-based advice and a beautifully illustrated, step-by step exercise program designed to enhance recovery.

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