Exercise and Nutrition After Breast Cancer Surgery


After a breast cancer surgery, it’s crucial for patients to take a proper care of their health. This article will recommend some exercise and proper diet that are good for their recovery.


Breast cancer surgery patient should take a right exercise to get back to normal activities with arm and shoulder. Exercise help eases the side effects after surgery such as being stiff or tight at shoulder or scar. Doctors can help you to choose the suitable program that helps you recover the best.

  • In the first two weeks after surgery, try to avoid raising hand above the height of shoulder and lifting things that are heavier than a bag of sugar. It is advisable to avoid pushing yourself against things or pulling things towards you with the arm on the side of the surgery.
    There are some exercises that help breast cancer patients recover from surgery with the permission of doctors. Some kinds of exercise include shoulder shrugs, shoulder roll, shoulder raise, arm swing, body turns (rotations). Patients can also practice deeply breathing exercise or doing normal activities such as combing the hair, bathing, dressing, etc.
  • The following 2 weeks (week 3 and 4), patients should keep doing exercises they have been doing while starting new advanced exercises to get a full range of the arm’s movement. Some advanced exercises that patients can try in these weeks are lifting the hand above the head, making a beach pose, stretching the chest to the back.
  • At the 6th week, patients are almost able to do normal daily activities. However, it’s still a little hard to lift heavy things. If necessary, patients can take some extra exercises with the advice and guidance of specialists. At this period, it is crucial to maintain and improve the general fitness levels.  Walking should be kept and advanced to a higher distance and pace. Other types of exercise that the patients are taking should also be maintained even when their shoulder has come back to normal fully-functioned condition.

Nutrition that good for breast cancer patients

After surgery, patients should have a plan to go on a suitable diet to recover. A proper diet is believed to be low in fat to avoid the risk of getting other cancer and heart disease.

  • After surgery, the body needs more protein than usual to reconstruct cells and heal incisions. Adding protein powder to the meals and eating high-protein snacks are advice from specialists.
  • Some studies have shown that phytochemicals which come from plants have the ability to decrease the risk of getting cancer again and have benefits in fighting cancer.
  • Soy can help people get rid of the risk of having breast cancer relating to a hormone because they have phytoestrogens, a nutrient similar to estrogen hormone in the body. The patient should take doctor’s advice because soy affects the hormone therapy or other treatments.
  • We can find them in many vegetables, fruits, nuts such as broccoli, liver, carrot,… Antioxidants protect the cells from damage. Lycopene is one type of antioxidant, which puts the red in tomatoes and the pink in pink grapefruit. It might help fight breast cancer.
  • Beta-carotene. Studies show that eating foods containing much beta-carotene such as carrots, apricots, yams, and other vegetables and fruits can help lower the risk of breast cancer returning.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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