Now that you have your treatment plan, it’s time to get prepare your mind and body to cope. This is also known as PRE-habilitation
The following resources to help prepare yourself for breast cancer treatment. These resources are safe no-matter your treatment plan whether it includes chemotherapy, surgery, endocrine therapy, or radiation.
If you have NOT had your initial appointment yet, be sure to visit the “Before Your First Appointment” Page
What is prehabilitation?
Prehabilitation is any activity that aims to build your body’s tolerance and resilience to breast cancer treatment.
Examples of prehabilitation activities includes:
- quitting smoking and vaping
- cutting back or ceasing drinking alcohol
- eating less fast food or soft drink
- increasing fresh fruit and vegetable intake
- walking more
- joining a gym
- starting shoulder range of motion exercises
- joining a support group
- continuing to work
- getting into a good skincare routine
Why is it so important?
There is a lot of research that tells us that ‘prehab’ increases the effect of treatment, reduces complications of treatment and side effects, improves mental health and wellbeing, and prevents cancer recurrence.
Who should do prehabilitation?
Everyone with a new diagnosis of Breast Cancer or DCIS!
It does not matter your age, what type of tumor you have, or your treatment plan.
When should it begin?
Immediately or soon after diagnosis.
- GET HEALTHY FREE HEALTH COACHING
Set your own goals, and receive confidential online and phone health coaching support. They have a specific cancer care program which a Breast Care Nurse or your GP will need to use to refer you. Download form HERE
- YMCA ENCORE BREAST CANCER EXERCISE PROGRAM
FREE breast cancer exercise and wellness program supports women in their breast cancer journey. Encore can help strengthen and tone arms, shoulders and chest, regain mobility, and improve general fitness.
- HEART FOUNDATION – FIND A WALKING GROUP
simply enter your postcode and find a FREE local walking group convenient for you
- CANCER COUNCIL FOLLOW ALONG VIDEOS
follow along for all fitness levels including CORE, UPPER BODY, and LOWER BODY
- BEGINNER MAT YOGA
follow along video
- FAME FOR BREAST CANCER PROGRAM – WESTMEAD HOSPITAL
Run by the physiotherapy department at Westmead, an 8 week program specifically for women with breast cancer. Ask your Breast Care Nurse to be referred.
Diet and Nutrition
There isn’t a specific diet to follow once you have a breast cancer diagnosis however maintaining the general principles of healthy eating will help you to stay well during treatment and recover more effectively.
- HOW HEALTHY ARE MY HABITS?
healthy habits quiz from ‘Healthy Eating, Active Living’ can help you check in with your current habits and see where you might be able to improve.
- 8700 App – KILOJOULE TRACKER
understand your daily energy needs using the Kilojoule Calculator. Search over 3,000 products from larger Australian fast food and snack chains using the Fast Food Search
- MEAL AND SNACK IDEAS
When you feel too tired or unwell to shop for food or cook, or if you’re missing meals while having treatment, the quick meal and snack ideas in this section may help.
Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
Much of your journey will be mental as much as it is physical. There are many ways to care for your spiritual and mental wellbeing including connecting with others who have been through a similar experience, and relaxation techniques.
- CANCER CONNECT
Cancer Connect is a free and confidential telephone peer support service that connects someone who has cancer with a specially trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience.A Connect volunteer can listen with understanding and share their experiences and ways of coping. They can provide practical information, emotional support and hope. Many people newly diagnosed with cancer find this one-to-one support very beneficial.
- GUIDED MEDICATION – preparing for procedures breathing exercise
This 6-minute guided meditation will help you focus on your breathing to feel calm before and during your doctor’s appointment or procedure. You can do this mindful breathing exercise on its own or as an introduction to guided meditation.
- GUIDED MEDITATION – managing pain breathing exercise
This 32-minute guided meditation will help you soothe anxiety and uncomfortable sensations in your body before a painful procedure or when you’re in pain.
- TALK TO A COUNSELLOR – BEYOND BLUE
FREE telephone and online counselling service is open 24/7 for everyone in Australia.
- SELF CARE PLANNING WORKSHEET
Having Self-Care practices built in to our routine is one way we can help keep our stress levels manageable.
- PODCAST: UPFRONT ABOUT BREAST CANCER – The Snow Globe Effect, Change of Perspective
Hosted by Dr Charlotte Tottman, we hear about the Snow Globe Effect, an analogy Charlotte uses to explain how a cancer experience can change a person’s perspective, values, priorities and how they live their life.
For specific information on surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy visit the “DURING TREATMENT” page