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International Women’s Day (IWD) is very important to me. It recognizes that women’s issues in the workplace, in the home and in society in general need addressing. By even having a designated day draws the attention of the media and allows a conversation to commence which may even lead to changes in policy at a government level or simply highlight an injustice such as inequality in pay levels for women who do the same amount and quality of work as men.
Over the last couple of months, I have been thinking about how to do something this year to celebrate and recognize IWD at a personal level.  Having attended my Irish colleague, Michelle Lyons’ Gynaecological Cancer Course in October 2015 and having a very close relative in the middle of chemotherapy, and seeing the physical effects this treatment is having on him, prompted me to commence a Gynae and Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Course at my exercise studio- Studio194 Sue Croft PhysioFitness at 194 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill.
Studio 194 logoAmandaLee
The rehabilitation course runs over 10 weeks and will be conducted by Amanda Lee, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor from my practice. The class aims to provide education, management strategies and guided exercise to optimize the health, well-being and quality of life for cancer survivors. The program has been specifically designed to help women with the physical and ongoing health issues that can occur after going through cancer and it’s treatment. Individual physiotherapy sessions will be available if required to ensure a thorough assessment and a specifically tailored rehabilitation program for the patient’s individual needs.
Physiotherapy treatment and management may include:

  • Exercise prescription
  • Specific manual treatment
  • One on one Pilates rehabilitation

Group sessions consist of an educational component including practical tips, gentle strengthening and stretching through specifically chosen Pilates exercises, followed by relaxation exercises at the end.
These classes have been developed to address the known pelvic symptoms in this population group, including:

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Urinary and faecal urgency and/or incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pelvic pain
  • Lymphoedema
  • Cancer related fatigue (E.J Yang et al 2012, H. Lind et al 2011, Hazewindle et al 2010)

Further to this, the aims of the group sessions include:

  • Improved overall physical function
  • Reduce treatment-related side effects
  • Improved physical strength
  • Improved posture
  • Improved mobility
  • Improved pain
  • Improved relaxation and breathing patterns
  • Improved bladder and bowel health
  • Improved overall sense of well-being and quality of life

Group sessions will be of a one hour duration and run once a week over 10 weeks, to be held at Studio 194 at Highgate Hill. After the first 5 weeks, the second half of the program will consist of an increased exercise component appropriate to the physical capability of the participants with the aim to build strength and vitality in the post cancer treatment phase.
All of our physios and instructors at Sue Croft Physiotherapy are dedicated to improving the health outcomes of all patients and now we are addressing this often neglected group of patients, who can be quite debilitated after their life-saving cancer treatment. We are striving to address this gap and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors. As Michelle Lyons aptly says: Not only survive but thrive after cancer. For more information, please call us on (07)3844 3900 or email us on
And can I recommend a fabulous movie to try and catch is Suffragette in honour of IWD. It truly reminds us of the struggle women have had over the years and even extremely recently, to simply achieve the right to vote.

International Women’s Day Tuesday 8th March, 2016.