Support for Breast Cancer

At NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, our doctors play an active role in your ongoing care. Women who have been treated for breast cancer are encouraged to attend follow-up visits on a schedule to be discussed and determined with their doctors. 

Mammograms and other imaging tests are typically scheduled every 6 to 12 months after treatment. A monthly breast self-exam may also be recommended to aid in the early detection of a recurrence. 

Your doctors can create a personalized plan to help you recover from surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatments. 

Neuropathy Treatment

Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common side effect of some chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer. It may lead to numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hands, feet, arms, legs, or in other parts of the body.

Doctors at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation can prescribe medication to help ease the discomfort caused by neuropathy. They also offer physical therapy to prevent the condition from interfering with your balance and strength. 

Some women report partial relief from neuropathy symptoms after receiving acupuncture or massage therapy. These and other integrative health services are available at Perlmutter Cancer Center.

Lymphedema Care 

Surgery for breast cancer often includes the removal of lymph nodes, which may damage lymph vessels in the breast and underarm. Damage to these vessels can cause lymph fluid to build up, which can lead to swelling and arm discomfort—a condition known as lymphedema

Doctors and physical therapists at Rusk Rehabilitation can show you how to prevent lymphedema after surgery—for example, by wearing wraps around your arms to compress them. Doctors also ensure that you’re aware of the early warning signs of the condition, such as aching, tingling, or a feeling of fullness in the underarms, arms, or hands. The sooner management starts, the more likely the condition can be minimized.

After therapy for lymphedema is complete, specialized massage therapists at Perlmutter Cancer Center are available to help with manual lymph fluid drainage. 

Side Effect Management

Integrative therapies, including massage therapy and acupuncture, can often help women with breast cancer feel better during and after their treatment. Massage therapy can help to reduce pain, decrease stress, and improve mood. Acupuncture may relieve treatment-related fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, and pain. 

Gentle Yoga with Marisa Sullivan

A patient participates in Gentle Yoga with Marisa Sullivan.

Yoga classes tailored to the needs of people with breast cancer are also available at Perlmutter Cancer Center, and can help to reduce stress and fatigue.

Nutrition and Exercise

Nutritionists and integrative care specialists at Perlmutter Cancer Center can help you improve your overall health through customized diet and exercise plans. 

In addition, after consultation with doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation, physical therapists can provide a rehabilitation program of strength and aerobic exercise to address any weakness and fatigue caused by breast cancer or its treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

An exercise program also helps to improve balance, flexibility, and mobility, which may be affected by cancer surgery. It can help you to keep moving throughout treatment and recovery. 

Psychological Support 

Psychological support can help you cope with any concerns or anxiety that may arise during and after treatment. Our experts provide individual counseling sessions and support groups for women with breast cancer. Group meetings are also available for women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. 

Genetic Counseling Services

NYU Langone offers a genetic counseling program to help women who are concerned about a family or personal history of breast cancer.

Our experts offer genetic counseling and testing to people who may carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and may be at increased risk for cancer. Services are also available to other family members who may be at risk.

Fertility Services

Some breast cancer treatments can affect fertility, so our oncologists work with reproductive medicine specialists at NYU Langone’s Fertility Center to provide options such as freezing unfertilized eggs or fertilized embryos before cancer treatment begins.

These procedures require that women delay cancer treatment for a few weeks while they take fertility drugs to stimulate their egg production. Our gynecologic oncologists and fertility experts collaborate to ensure that any delay in treatment is safe for you.

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