PTs Walk to Raise Funds for Free Mammograms

ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 20, 2009 — The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will participate in the city of Alexandria's 16th Annual Walk to Fight Breast Cancer, October 24, 2009, at the AMC Hoffman Theatres on Swamp Fox Road beginning at 8 am. Since 2002, APTA has sponsored the event whose proceeds support free mammograms and other diagnostic screening procedures for Alexandria women who could not otherwise obtain this necessary medical care.

October is both National Physical Therapy Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this time APTA sheds light on the role that physical therapists play in the treatment of women living with breast cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment.

"Early detection is key to decreasing the progression of this disease to more advanced stages and APTA is proud to support the city of Alexandria in its effort to help women obtain these critical screenings," said APTA CEO John Barnes.

When surgery is required, physical therapists help patients regain strength and range of motion in the shoulders and arms throughout the healing process. They also provide scar massage to help keep the tissue flexible and develop quality cancer-specific exercise programs for post-surgical patients and those dealing with fatigue caused by chemotherapy and radiation to keep them moving.

Physical therapists are also instrumental in helping patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema, a chronic, debilitating and often irreversible side effect of cancer treatment, which can develop weeks, months, or even years after surgery or radiation. This painful condition can be prevented or greatly improved if caught in its earliest stages and managed through a comprehensive physical therapy program.

The Walk to Fight Breast Cancer was initiated in 1994 by former City of Alexandria Manager Vola Lawson and has become a popular tradition in Alexandria among the community's business leaders and individuals. To date, the Walk Fund has helped more than 5,000 women receive mammograms and other diagnostic procedures.

For more information about The Walk to Fight Breast Cancer visit

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects of prescription medications. APTA represents approximately 76,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Its purpose is to improve the health and quality of life of individuals through the advancement of physical therapist practice, education, and research. In most states, patients can make an appointment directly with a physical therapist, without a physician referral. Learn more about lymphedema and other conditions physical therapists can treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at