Client Education

Lymphedema and Advanced Lymphedema Self Help Workshops

CMC has provided lymphedema education for over 20 years and received national recognition for our pioneering work in this field. Our workshops are open to all CMC clients, volunteers and the general public. All workshops are presented in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish.

Our workshops are offered as both introductory and advanced. Topics include:

  • What is lymphedema?
  • What is the lymphatic system and what causes lymphedema?
  • Overview of conventional cancer treatments that can cause lymphedema
  • How to avoid lymphedema, injury and infection
  • Learning self-care and body brushing for lymph flow
  • Learning and practicing gentle lymph exercises
  • Overview of compression garments and how to wear them
  • Complementary integrative medicine and how it supports lymphedema

Yoga Class and Yoga for Breast Cancer Rehab Classes

Norma Hoshide and Angela Madonia, from our partners the Healing Yoga Foundation, teach our weekly yoga classes. Studies show and our clients know that a structured yoga practice during cancer treatment can radically improve physical symptoms such as pain and fatigue. Additionally, yoga reduces stress and anxiety, which in turn reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and eases breathing. 

Beyond purely the physical, research has also shown how yoga, along with meditation, can alleviate depression, anxiety and insomnia. Medical research is revealing what we have long known, that clients at all stages of cancer can benefit from yoga. Our teachers provide guidance and individual support at all our classes to ensure that every client is able to practice yoga within her physical limitations.

All classes are presented in English, Cantonese and Spanish.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Workshop

CMC’s Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) program serves low-income women suffering with the complications and uncertainty of living with metastatic breast cancer. In addition to frequent integrative cancer treatments and in-depth case management and social services, CMC holds an annual daylong MBC event for both clients and their family members and caregivers, especially reaching out to our African American community.

Every clinic day, we see husbands, partners, and children of all ages accompanying their loved ones as they receive treatment at our two clinic sites. Their fear, worry, and anxiety are often evident.  We know they too need support for what they are experiencing.  

Topics covered at our MBC daylong event include:   

  • Why holistic and complementary integrative medicines are an important part of comprehensive care for MBC
  • Hands on demonstrations of acupuncture, massage, and other complementary modalities that help demystify these often unfamiliar approaches to care
  • How to talk with your medical providers about your needs and wishes
  • How to talk with your family about the future and the uncertainty it holds for each member
  • Accessing clinical trials for metastatic/advanced cancers
  • Ways that exercise and yoga can relief stress and anxiety; demonstrations of simple interventions for client, family member and caregiver
  • Breakout sessions for the special concerns of family members

Living Through Cancer with Exercise Classes

Our partner, Sunflower Wellness, provides our clients with a program that includes a one-on-one exercise counseling session and monthly exercise classes. All counseling sessions are available in English, Spanish and Cantonese and Sunflower Wellness provides their services and classes to our clients free of charge.

We know that exercise is a critical part of integrative cancer care. Research continues to demonstrate that people with cancer who exercise can greatly increase their chances of survival:

  • Women who participated in any moderate-intensity recreational physical activity, such as brisk walking, after breast cancer diagnosis had an approximately 64% lower risk of death than inactive women. 
  • Colon cancer survivors who walked 6 or more hours per week at an average pace showed a 47% improvement in disease-free survival compared with inactive patients. 
  • In one study spanning over 30 years studying almost 15,000 women, those who engaged in moderate and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness demonstrated a 33% and 55% lower risk, respectively, of dying of breast cancer.  
  • The total number of treatment sessions (physician visits) for women with breast-cancer-related lymphedema decreased over 60% among women who lifted weights.  
  • In one study, greater increases in survivorship among women with breast cancer occurred among those who performed the equivalent of walking 3 to 5 hours per week at an average pace.