A Valuable Tool for Physicians, Nurses and Physical Therapists

Strength & Courage: Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors

Developed after years of research and with exercise recommendations from Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC, University of Pennsylvania and University of Alberta, Strength & Courage is a safe, proven program that benefits women who have had surgeries such as a lumpectomy, mastectomy, sentinel node biopsy, and is especially beneficial for axillary node dissection.

The content is available through digital download or DVD in bulk quantities for physicians, nurses and physical therapists to give to breast cancer patients after surgery. Please contact us for more details on how to order.

Exercise is Medicine

“It’s easier and more helpful to give my patient a DVD that demonstrates the necessary exercises, rather than a written handout.”

Dr. Gretchen Ahrendt, former breast cancer surgeon at Magee-Women’s Hospital, now at the University of Colorado.


“I wanted to thank you for producing the Strength & Courage DVD. I find it to be very helpful for our patients who are recovering from breast cancer treatment. I think the exercise program is important to help patients improve their strength and flexibility and allow them to return to their daily lives more quickly.”

Dr. Shannon Puhalla, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, UPMC Passavant, UPMC Magee

The Strength & Courage Program

is designed to be completed as follows as part of your home care after breast cancer surgery.

The Strength & Courage Program

is designed to be completed as follows as part of your home care after breast cancer surgery.

Chapter One: Posture Exercises

In this initial post-surgical stretching exercise portion, a group of survivors are being led by a physical therapist. Can usually be completed the first day after breast cancer surgery.

Chapter Two: Post-Op Exercises

Can be completed shortly after breast cancer surgery, when your drains are removed, with clearance from your doctor.

Chapter Three: Flexibility Training

Only to be completed after Chapters One and Two are mastered.

Chapter Four: Weight Training

Within a few months, a fitness trainer will lead you through a weight lifting program that will help you regain strength in your upper body and arms. This section is only to be completed after Chapters One through Three and receiving clearance from your surgeon.

Chapter Five: Aerobic Exercises

These can be reviewed early in the course of treatment with Chapters One and Two.

Special Feature: Lymphedema

Discusses what you should know. For more information, visit the Lymphedema & Exercise page.