Breast Cancer Surgery

Can You Make a Return to Golf After Breast Cancer?

The simple answer is yes, women golfers can return to the full enjoyment of their golf game after Breast Cancer treatment. The more complex answer is how they can do that. Besides mentally recovering from being diagnosed with Breast Cancer and any surgery involved, there are some typical physical affects of both surgery and any radiation treatment. Those that would typically affect your golf are:

A limitation in the range of motion (stiffness) in your shoulder on the side of your body that has had surgery;
Lymphedema (swelling) of the arm and/or hand on the affected side.

Please be sure to check with your physician before utilizing any of our advice.

Although we have done extensive research on this subject, we are not physicians or affiliated with any medical or pharmaceutical company.

The stiffness in the affected shoulder is usually a short-term problem and can be fixed with physiotherapy and exercise. The cause of this stiffness is related to the post-operative splinting of the arm to avoid discomfort caused by body movement. Usually this is a mild discomfort but it can affect your range of motion, hence, affecting your swing and putting ability; let alone carrying your golf equipment around.

Exercises for Range of Motion

By following a good solid exercise routine, you should be able to regain your range of motion and strength to ensure the longetivity of your mighty golf swing.

Some appropriate exercises for regaining your range of motion are:

Horizontal abduction
Pushups against the wall
Resisted flexion
Resisted extension
Resisted abduction and
Resisted adduction


By following a good solid exercise routine, you should be able to regain your range of motion and strength to ensure the longetivity of your mighty golf swing.

The more serious side affect after breast cancer surgery is Lymphedema and unfortunately, this is a lifelong risk. For women golfers, they may experience this swelling of the arm and/or their hands following a round of golf or a few hours at the driving range.

Many women golfers who have experienced this problem advise that you should wear a compression sleeve during your training or golf game. This type of sleeve will prevent the progression of lymphedema or at least keep it to a minimum. Not all women experience lymphedema after their breast surgery, this only affects some women golfers and is not exaggerated by their golf. If you do suffer from this condition, then it is not only during golf you should wear the compression sleeve but also during any air travel. If you’re not sure where you can get a compression sleeve or want more information, try the Ted Mann Family Resource Center who can help you with all of your questions.

Finally, we want to dispel a myth that is generated about the effects on your golf swing should you be faced with having a mastectomy. While your golf swing may not be your first consideration – a myriad of cans and can not’s will likely run through your brain at the speed of light when you’re faced with either the decision for a mastectomy or during your recovery period from one.

Women golfers do not have to face a change in their golf swing following a mastectomy – while your swing will be affected by strength and stiffness issues, your breast removal will not dramatically alter your swing motion.

Breast Cancer Research for the Cure

You may also want to read our other articles:

Support for Breast Cancer Research
Organizations Which Support Women’s Health
Support for Breast Cancer Research Merchandise

The great thing about golf and women’s golf especially is that you are surrounded by people who understand not only the game but also the horrendous price that Breast Cancer exacts from women. Their awareness of this has been shown by their strength in raising funds for Breast Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Funds are being raised through merchandise and events to ensure that less women either are affected or die from this disease. The good news is, that with heightened awareness, women are being more proactive with checkups and thus reducing the fatalities from breast cancer.

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