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Weightlifting slashes lymphedema risk after breast cancer treatment
Date:12/8/2010

ong the women with lymphedema, those who took part in the slowly progressive weightlifting regimen experienced fewer flare-ups of their condition, and a reduction in symptoms compared to the women who did not lift weights. The study was conducted from 2005 to 2008.

Schmitz cautions that women who have lymphedema or are at risk of the condition should speak with their doctors and seek guidance from a certified fitness professional to learn safe weightlifting techniques, many of which can even be practiced at home with proper equipment. Women with lymphedema should also wear a well-fitting compression garment during all exercise sessions.

The new study results, in combination with the exercise guidance for cancer survivors recently released by the American College of Sports Medicine, form a solid platform for patients to issue a call to action, Schmitz says.

"Gone are the days when women should accept that it is good enough to merely be alive after breast cancer," she says. "We live in an era when breast cancer is increasingly recognized at an early stage and treated successfully. The 2.4 million breast cancer survivors in the United States deserve to be referred to physical therapy for evaluation of the myriad of arm and shoulder issues they face, which include lymphedema. The remarkable, well-connected sisterhood of survivors should collectively rise up and insist that breast cancer rehabilitation programming become standard of care at all cancer centers across the United States, as it already is in many parts of Europe."


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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