The Power of Pampering
It takes a strong body, a strong mind, and positive self-image to endure breast cancer treatment and recovery.
“When a patient feels empowered, she wages a better fight against cancer,” says Lisa Shalkowski, RN, BSN, MSHA, director of Virtua oncology services. “We not only treat the illness with advanced surgical, chemo-therapeutic and radiology services, we also pay close attention to a patient’s body image and spirit.
We offer a wide range of services designed just for breast cancer patients. These services are not indulgences. They are necessities to give patients the strength they need to power through treatment.”
First stop is a personal care coordinator
After a breast cancer diagnosis, a breast cancer nurse navigator guides patients to the right services, and schedules and coordinates her appointments. The navigator is also the go-to person for pampering resources, education and access to care.
Look Good, Feel Better
The side effects of radiation and chemotherapy can leave women stymied about their personal care routine. Look Good, Feel Better helps women manage changes to their skin, learn how to style a wig or scarf, and generally improve their self-image. Virtua offers this American Cancer Society program free throughout the year.
Care for sensitive skin
Skin changes from cancer treatment are often an unexpected challenge for patients. The estheticians of Virtua’s Vir tu’ spa have advanced training in skin care for patients who have undergone chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Specialized restoration treatments soothe skin head to toe.
Relax with reflexology and Reiki at Vir tu’
Massage and reflexology reduce tension and stress so patients can focus their energy on fighting cancer. The ancient practice of Reiki harmonizes energy in the body that has become unbalanced due to illness. Patients have a restored sense of well-being.
Fit to fight
Physical strength before and during treatment helps patients better tolerate their treatments. Moving On features supervised exercise sessions with a certified cancer fitness specialist, available to any patient cleared by her physician. Strength after Breast Cancer is a program of supervised, light weight training proven to stave off lymphedema. Cancer Fitness is a group workout to help patients ease back into a routine.
Breast reconstruction may give a woman a psychological boost and improve self-esteem and quality of life. Reconstruction may start at the same time as the cancer surgery. Virtua’s specialized breast reconstruction surgeons provide the highest level of surgical expertise to recreate a natural-looking breast following mastectomy.
Eat to beat cancer
The right nutrition during breast cancer treatment increases strength and helps maintain a healthy weight. Specialized nutritionists help patients deal with lack of appetite and create a holistic diet of whole food with the right balance of nutrients.
Call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823) for breast cancer support groups.