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Exercise is a vital part of recovery from cancer according to a new report by Macmillan

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Breast care nurses are actively encouraging patients to return to the gym and the pool after surgery to boost recovery, improve general fitness and aid emotional healing. Chemotherapy can cause depression and feelings of lethargy which can be combated very successfully by a suitable exercise programme.


Being advised to take it easy after cancer is now an outdated view according to the charity Macmillan (www.macmillan.org.uk) which says that all patients undergoing cancer treatment should aim to build up to around two and a half hours of exercise each week.


The Move More report published this summer by Macmillan, says that of the two million cancer survivors in the UK, around 1.6 million are not physically active enough and advises that adult cancer patients and cancer survivors take the 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week recommended by the Department of Health. The report shows that physical exercise does not increase fatigue during treatment, and can boost energy after treatment as well as lowering the chances of other illnesses like heart disease and osteoporosis. Previous research shows exercising to the recommended levels can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurring by 40 per cent. Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: It doesnt need to be anything too strenuous, doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or a swim, all count.


Exercise can be highly beneficial in aiding recovery but that doesnt mean that if you were inactive before, you should jump straight on the treadmill. Build up gradually, choosing something you enjoy and you will be far more likely to stick to it. Gentle exercise to start you off could include swimming, table tennis, dancing with your partner or simply going for a walk.


However this can pose a problem for many mastectomy patients who are afraid of wearing swimming suits or, bikinis or sports gear after surgery, worrying that they no longer fit properly or worse, that their breast form may not stay securely in place. Finding a decent stockist with a good selection of mastectomy lingerie and swimwear can also be a challenge.


The Kate Barclay lingerie shop in Droitwich Spa is a centre of excellence for fitting, stocking the Anita Care collection of mastectomy sports bras and swimwear. Owner Judith James said: We were granted the status of the centre of excellence after completing an in-depth training course at the head office of Anita in Austria. Anita UK has created centres of excellence within lingerie shops across the UK and staff at these stores are trained to expertly fit lingerie, swimwear and specialist sports breast-forms.


For example, the specialist swim breast-forms have grooves built into the back to allow the water to drain freely reducing movement and discomfort. Mastectomy sports bras and swimwear from the collection give breast cancer patients the freedom to get back to the gym with confidence that they look great and are fully supported. We ensure our customers are offered discreet and personal attention to achieve the perfect fitting bra.

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