Breast Health Program

Life after cancer

Post-operative garments

Your insurance plan may cover post-operative bras, camisoles or other garments needed after lumpectomy, during radiation therapy or partial breast prosthesis during reconstruction. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, covers some of these expenses. Ask your doctor or nurse navigator for more information. 

Integrative and holistic therapies

Holistic and integrative therapies work in concert with state-of-the art, evidence-based western medical treatment for breast cancer. An integrative approach to your breast cancer care can help alleviate the side effects of some of your treatments and decrease recurrence of disease via lifestyle modification, selective supplementation, Reiki, acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and more. You can find a wealth of information and resources about these therapies at the The Society for Integrative Oncology and American Cancer Society websites. 

Reiki and massage are available at no cost to patients undergoing treatment at Flagstaff and Sedona. 


During surgery for breast cancer, your surgeon removes at least one lymph node from the underarm area to see if the cancer has spread.  The average number of nodes removed with a sentinel node biopsy is three to five. Lymph node removal can disrupt the lymphatic channels carrying lymph fluid from the arm to the rest of the body.

If the remaining lymph vessels cannot handle the fluid from these areas, the excess fluid builds up and causes swelling, or lymphedema. Radiation treatment to the lymph nodes in the underarm can have the same effect. Patients who have many lymph nodes removed and patients who have had radiation therapy to the breast and/or underarm area may have a higher risk of lymphedema. Your physician will give you detailed information about preventing and managing this side effect of cancer treatment.

Lymphedema is not curable, but very manageable. A treatment called Complete Decongestive Therapy, or CDT, can help. Our EntireCare Rehab and Sports Medicine Department offers this service, which is considered to be gold standard treatment for individuals with lymphatic dysfunction. For detailed information about CDT and other helpful therapies, please visit the EntireCare microsite.

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