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YWCA offers gentle road to breast cancer recovery

Monday, 21st January, 2008

Women recovering from breast cancer in Broken Hill are now being helped by the YWCA with its free gentle exercise program. The YWCA Encore program is for women of any age who have had breast cancer surgery at any time during their lives.

"Often women experience pain and limited arm and shoulder movement after surgery and for many years afterward," said local Encore Coordinator Stacey Evers. "Some times everyday things such as opening a jam jar or picking up your child or grandchild can be very difficult.

"Encore's gentle exercises, some of which are conducted in the indoor warm hydrotherapy pool at the local hospital, are specifically designed to address there sorts of problems."

The program aims to gain maximum mobility and flexibility in the arms and shoulders, improve the lymphatic flow, renew self esteem and foster well-being.

Ms Evers said women should not fear embarrassment as the programs are conducted out of hours and the only people around will be like-minded and supportive.

"It's confidential and private," she said.

The next program will begin in February and run for eight weeks. Classes meet at the hospital hydrotherapy pool for two hours on Wednesday evenings so there is plenty of time for relaxation, information and a chat as well as the exercises.

The program includes an information session, often including a guest speaker, floor exercises and then pool exercises in warm water.

Ms Evers, who works at the hospital's hydrotherapy pool, trained in the YWCA Encore program mid-2007 and ran her first program here last year which she said was a great success.

She said the best news was that while many cancer treatments may have been expensive, the YWCA Encore program doesn't cost anything."The funding from NSW Health and AVON means that the program can be offered free to participants," she said.

"I am really excited to be able to offer this service to the women of Broken Hill."

For more information or to enrol please contact Stacey Evers on 8080 1622 or 8088 2026.

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