Exercise May Help Survivors Avoid Painful Condition - 8 News NOW

Exercise May Help Survivors Avoid Painful Condition

Posted: Updated:

Breast cancer patients can develop a painful swelling in the arms after treatment, called lymphedema. A new study looks at a non-medical way to try to prevent the problem.

Many women conquer breast cancer, only to develop the painful and even debilitating condition called lymphedema. Surgery or radiation treatment for the cancer can create a blockage in the lymph system, causing swelling in one or both arms, or the patient's side.

Breast cancer survivor Maria McCrone wants to avoid lymphedema but she's chosen exercise, going against traditional thinking. In the past, breast cancer survivors were advised to restrict movement in their arms and on the side where they were treated, anything to avoid lymphedema.

"Women live in fear of developing this condition because currently we have no way of curing lymphedema and so it can progress and become a lifelong and debilitating condition," said Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Schmitz at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine wanted to know if progressive weight training could help stave off lymphedema. She and her colleagues conducted a randomized study involving 154 breast cancer survivors who had at least two lymph nodes removed. For the study, half of them lifted weights twice a week for one year, the others did not.

"Women who did the weight training were less likely to have increases in arm swelling than women who did not do the weight training."

"Being healthy all promotes survival so if you can live longer and prevent lymphedema at the same time then that's really a double win," said McCrone.

If you are a breast cancer survivor who wants to try exercise to avoid lymphedema, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:29 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:29:39 GMT
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
  • Breath test can test for illnesses

    Breath test can test for illnesses

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:00:17 GMT
    With most diseases, an early diagnosis means a better prognosis, but sometimes it's difficult, painful and expensive to test for illnesses. Now there's a new way to spot a variety of conditions and all it takes is a simple breath.More>>
    With most diseases, an early diagnosis means a better prognosis, but sometimes it's difficult, painful and expensive to test for illnesses. Now there's a new way to spot a variety of conditions and all it takes is a simple breath.More>>
  • Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes

    Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes

    Monday, July 21 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-07-21 20:48:09 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American diabetes association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.More>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American diabetes association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.More>>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.