Pilates after breast cancer


Pilates after Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Ireland (excluding skin cancers). More than 2,500 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in this country.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, 85% of women now survive breast cancer over five years compared to less than 50% in 1976. Early detection and advancements in treatment mean that more people are surviving the disease than ever before. Despite this good news, cancer treatments take an enormous toll on the body, both physically and emotionally. Although now cancer free many women are left weak and physically challenged even by normal day-to-day activities. Cancer treatments (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) can result in a number of long term symptoms including:

  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Premature bone mineral density loss (increasing risk of osteoporosis)
  • Pain and muscular tension
  • Reduced strength and mobility
  • Fatigue
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Reduced body confidence
  • Reduced quality of life

It is important to remember than you do not have to endure or put up with any of the above symptoms. Many of these symptoms are often “invisible” which means they can be poorly acknowledged and addressed.

How can Pilates help me?

Research suggests that exercise and cancer rehabilitation is key to quality survivorship. Rehabilitation is a key component often missing in the treatment of breast cancer. Pilates is an ideal exercise system for breast cancer survivors as it slow and controlled and focuses on improving flexibility and strength for the whole body. Pilates emphasises proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment and concentrates on smooth flowing movement. Our program is a very gentle, safe, progressive series of Pilates exercises designed specifically for those recovering from breast cancer surgery and treatment.  

Benefits of Pilates post breast cancer:

  • Restores joint mobility of the arm and shoulder girdle
  • Strengthens core muscles and improves posture
  • Stimulates lymphatic system and can reduce risk of lymphedema
  • Increases energy levels and improves breathing
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Eases pain and muscular tension
  • Improves physical functioning and independence
  • Reduces treatment related side effects and allows you to reclaim body confidence


When should I start Pilates?

Pilates is beneficial before, during and after any type of cancer surgery or treatment. Our Breast Cancer Pilates class here at EBTC accommodates all ages, fitness levels and mobility. Whether you are recovering from recent surgery or are many years’ post treatment, you can benefit from our Pilates class designed specifically for breast cancer survivors.

We recommend an Initial Consultation with our Chartered Physiotherapist in Women’s Health Dr. Catherine Browne. This is to assess your current level of exercise tolerance to make sure that attending the class will be safe and beneficial for you. This assessment allows Catherine to screen each person individually and ensure that you are safe to enter the class. Catherine looks at your individual needs, strengths, weaknesses, areas of tightness and particular limitations. As the class numbers are small, she can then take this information into the class setting and ensure that the exercises are tailored to your specific needs.

How much does it cost?

This 1 hour initial assessment is offered at a reduced rate of €50 (usually €90). The programme of 8 classes costs €120.

When does the class take place?

Friday mornings 10.30-11.30

The next programme of 8 classes starts on Friday 24th March 2017.

Call 091 727777 to book an appointment for your assessment to secure a place on the programme or email us via the contact page to book an appointment with Chartered Physiotherapist in Women’s Health – Catherine Browne.