radiotherapy and excersise

Do any of y

not sure what happened to your post! But my hospital have a weekly physio session for new radiotherapy patients to show us the exercises. I hadnt heard of this before, got mine on monday.


Hi Nanny4

Like Vickie, I found that the hospital offered physio classes each week for new radiotherapy patients. They said it was very important to try to attend the class as near the beginning of treatment as possible so you can do the exercises throughout. I attended the class on the same day as my rads planning appointment, which worked well.


Hello now I discover am to have rads to armpit as well as breast - should I be doing special exercises ? rads start Nov 8th. Planning is in a couple of weeks. Are the exercise to help prevent shoulder seizing up ? Thanks. I dont think physio is offered here.

I found exercises really helped the shoulder not to stiffen up - if you aren’t sure about what to do you can ask for a physio appointment - we didn’t have classes where I had my treatment but we used to show each other the exercises we got from physion in the waiting room!

Hi Kirsty

Yes there are special exercises to stop both your armpit and the breast tissue from stiffening up, and these were different exercises from the ones I was shown immediately after surgery. It proved to be really important to do them - after the end of treatment my breast and armpit were stiffening up a lot but by doing the exercises really rigorously and frequently I was able to free it all up. So much so that one night last week it suddenly all felt soft and more “normal” again, because I’d managed to stop the cording effect. Do ask to see a physio, it’s so important if you’re to regain full movement.

Sarah x

P.S. There is also the exercise leaflet and DVD from Breast Cancer Care, which I found really useful. Most of the exercises on the leaflet would still be applicable for radiotherapy, and certainly much better than doing nothing!

thank you very much for the advice ladies, much appreciated. take care Sandrae

Yes - echoing Thanks for all info on exercise , I’ll be asking about this at the planning appt, as this is to be at a different hospital to the one Ive had all other treatment at. Will also mention to the BC Nurse at original hospital. I know its good to be in the hands of specialists at each stage of treatment plan but there does seem to be a down side in that patients can sometimes fall between the cracks if you know what I mean. I’ve had a few blips to deal with and feel I have to be on my guard all the time. its a place I dont want to be - would rather have absolute faith in the profs and system but once a few mistakes have been made, thats impossible I find.

Hey Ho - lifes challenges , and much to thank the medical professions for , no doubt.

Hello Sarah (Cheshire Cheese)

Sorry to go on about this - but did you get a leaflet showing the special exercises to do while on rads ?

these dont seem to be offered everywhere. Once again, postcode lottery !

Thanks Kirsty

Interesting research report - the exercises given for women on rads look much the same as those we are given following breast surgery. - With great results, will dig out that leaflet and get exercising !

Hi Kirsty

Don’t apologise for “going on” about it, I think there is far too little emphasis on exercises or physio, I’ve seen reports showing that 80% or more women end up with reduced mobility so it’s very important.

When I had the surgery I was given the BCC exercise leaflet for post surgery exercises and found that excellent. I started with the gentler exercises the day after surgery, worked up to the more difficult ones, and have carried on doing the tougher ones ever since. I was also given a couple of photocopied pages showing exercises when I attended the physio class I mentioned further up this thread, before I started rads treatment. To be honest I found them too gentle, probably aimed at getting people to try to do some stretching, but without frightening them off, on the basis that anything is better than nothing.

As a result of all the exercises I regained full mobility within two weeks of surgery, although having to move carefully, and have retained it ever since, but still having to work hard at it to overcome the stiffening and tightness caused by rads.

As you can tell, it’s become a bit of a hobby horse with me!

Sarah x

Thanks for the link Kirsty, I’ve printed off the sheet of exercises to do myself during radiotherapy.

Thanks for the info. I wish I’d found this thread sooner. I had my planning appointment today but no mention of the need to exercise or physiotherapy :frowning: My arm was a little uncomfortable at the planning session. Start my rads on the 8th.
My arm was good after the op, I did the exercises and got full movement back. During my chemo - the taxotere - everything started aching again, arm and operation scar. I felt so ill that I stopped doing the exercises regularly. It’s now nearly four weeks since my final chemo and my arm has really tightened up and I’m worried that I’ve got cording as I have a shooting pain running down it when I straighten it. Have been fully doing all the exercises for the last couple of days and am hoping it improves.
Good luck to everyone with their exercises and arm movement.


I had planning for rads this week, (RAds proper start Nov 8th) and asked what i could to help prevent any stiffening of shoulder eg exercises. I also asked if physio was available for rads patients. Back came message from Consultant through the rads nurse , to say , no, no special exercise necessary but could do the ones given for after surgery, and no access to Physios unless problems develop .

Once again - different opinions from different professionals , I really thought they would speak with one voice, but maybe I’m a bit naive ? No wonder its necessary to have Guidelines galore - but they dont seem to get adhered to either.

Lots of exercise cant be bad anyway. Had a go on cross trainer today , 2 and half weeks after last chemo - very surprised at how quickly my pulse rate went up , only did 5 minutes on lowest setting, and had to go very slow after a couple of minutes , but SO surprised at how long it took for pulse rate to come down and heart to stop thumping. Guess its early days. Am getting better each day but still breathless after exertion. Off to walk in lovely autumn colour woods tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone. Kirsty

Good news re WALKING GROUPS.

Had message to say new walking groups by BCC will be up and running in January and they are looking for volunteers to help set up other new ones too.

Happy Christmas and New Year