• University of Exeter

Helping patients recover from breast cancer treatment: a programme to prevent shoulder problems

Learn to identify patients at high risk of pain and disability after non-reconstructive breast cancer surgery and how to help them

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Learn how breast cancer treatment can cause shoulder pain and how to overcome it

This course will equip you with an in-depth understanding of the side effects of breast cancer surgery and, more specifically, shoulder pain that is experienced by many women.

You’ll find out more about the types of exercises that should be prescribed through the PROSPER (the Prevention of Shoulder Problems) programme, as well as how to support breast cancer patients to do them.

Learn how to identify women at risk of shoulder pain after non-reconstructive breast cancer surgery

Rehabilitation following breast cancer treatment is important to help women return to full active lives.

This course will teach you how to identify women prone to shoulder pain following their treatment as well as how to prescribe the PROSPER programme to reduce the impact of the surgery’s side effects.

Improve your ability to care for breast cancer patients

Through the PROSPER programme, you’ll explore ways to deal with cancer treatment related problems such as cording and fatigue, as well as strategies to support breast cancer patients and help them get back to a physically active life and regular exercise.

You’ll also learn how to monitor and manage women’s post-surgery progression and rehabilitation.

Apply research-based findings from the PROSPER exercise programme

The PROSPER programme has been developed by experts and tested in a large clinical trial by research and clinical staff at the University of Oxford and Warwick. They found that women who followed the programme had better arm function and lower pain scores compared to women who received usual care.

You’ll not only learn how to identify women at risk of shoulder problems following breast cancer treatment and prescribe the programme, but also how to deal with several other cancer treatment related problems.

What topics will you cover?

  • The impact of breast cancer treatment on shoulder and arm function
  • Who is at risk for shoulder problems after breast cancer treatment
  • How to prescribe and progress an evidence-based exercise programme developed and tested in a large clinical trial
  • Cancer treatment related problems such as seroma, cording, lymphoedema and fatigue which can be barriers to regular exercise and physical activity
  • How to promote adherence to the exercise programme and help women to return to their usual activities and be physically active

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the impact of breast cancer treatments on shoulder and arm function
  • Identify women at high-risk of shoulder problems following breast cancer treatment
  • Demonstrate how to deliver the PROSPER programme to women following breast cancer treatment
  • Explore common breast cancer treatment related problems and how to manage them
  • Engage with behaviour change strategies to help patients to exercise regularly and be more physically active

Who is the course for?

The Prevention of Shoulder Problems (PROSPER) programme was designed to be delivered by physiotherapists working with patients at higher risk of shoulder problems after breast cancer treatment.

This course is designed for those physiotherapists working with patients at risk of shoulder problems after breast cancer treatment.

However, other health professionals can also benefit, learn new skills, and help their patients recover post breast cancer treatment.

Who will you learn with?

Esther is a physiotherapist and researcher at the University of Oxford. She is Deputy-Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Research.

Beth Fordham is a health psychology researcher. Beth aims to use psychological theory and practice to improve quality of life in physical and mental health conditions.

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

Endorsers and supporters

content provided by

University of Warwick

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