Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Breast Neoplasms -- rehabilitation


More effective treatment options and techniques for eliminating breast cancer are steadily decreasing the mortality rate of breast cancer patients. However, primary treatment techniques, including various surgical techniques, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy, can give rise to physical and functional disabilities for the ·individual recovering from breast cancer. These disabilities warrant the same consideration given to disabilities arising from other causes. Rehabilitation, with a trained physical therapist, maximizes the physical and functional needs of the individual recovering from breast cancer.

The purpose of this literature review is to discuss in detail physical therapy intervention for the breast cancer patient after primary non-reconstructive treatment. The text gives a description of the primary non-reconstructive treatment types and their complications, the efficacy of physical therapy for breast cancer patients, the possible limitations encountered while regaining the physical and functional status, and various protocols for physical therapy in the early and late phases after primary treatment. This review focuses on educating and guiding those involved in the rehabilitation of individuals recovering from breast cancer after primary non-reconstructive treatment.