Siobhan O’ Reilly Bracken


Siobhan is a physiotherapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist licenced in Ireland and in New York. She is a member of ISCP and The American Physical Therapy Association and their oncology SIG groups. Siobhan directed a hospital department and ran a private practice in Manhattan for several years before being diagnosed and treated with breast cancer. She has an MPA from New York University and an MSc in Sports Physiotherapy from UCD. Siobhan has been teaching in-person and online courses in the field of Breast Cancer Rehab since 2006, including as a guest lecturer in UCD. In early 2021 Siobhan was invited to join an international group of researchers and clinicians working to bridge the gap in access to breast cancer rehab services.

About the courses

This e-academy offers physiotherapists with up to date, best practice in breast cancer rehab learning with online support throughout, via our community forum. The evidence supporting physiotherapy is compelling. We now know how to detect issues early and how to work with patients to prevent them from progressing and becoming chronic. The academy opens with 28 bite size courses each worth .5 CPD. Courses are divided into three sections, breast cancer, breast cancer treatments and breast cancer rehab. Each course has objectives, learning outcomes, a written presentations with slides, 3 readings, a quiz and lots of supplemental resources. New courses will be added regularly and will include requests made by colleagues in the community forum.

Examples of educational outcomes

Following completion of these courses, the participants will be able to:

  • Describe how breast cancer progresses through the stages 
  • Discuss breast cancer treatments and the side-effects relevant to physiotherapy.  
  • Discuss 4 types of breast surgery and their postoperative issues 
  • Describe Level 1 and Level 2 Exercises 
  • Describe 4 manual therapy techniques for scars, cords and fibrosis 
  • Discuss cording and the exercise sequence to release cords 
  • Discuss the 3 stages of radiation fibrosis and a prolonged-low-load-stretching progression 
  • Describe 3 types of breast reconstruction 
  • Discuss the clinical practice guidelines for “the initial intervention” and “the intensive intervention” for lymphedema 
  • Describe implementing “the initial intervention” for lymphedema. 
  • List the dates physiotherapists start assessments to prospectively detect and treat issues 
  • Describe the valid and reliable Myotape method for measuring arm girth 
  • Describe the steps to measure and select a CLL 2 compression arm sleeve 
  • Discuss patient education, self-care and self-MLD 
  • Describe 2 methods for measuring pec minor length 
  • Describe Level 3 Exercises 
  • Discuss the evidenced based 12 week walking program for breast cancer