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>>

  • Training the body to fight melanoma

    Training the body to fight melanoma

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:39:25 GMT

    The numbers are staggering. One person dies of melanoma every hour and one in fifty men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their lifetime. Now a new experimental therapy is training the body's immune system to fight the disease.

    More>>

    The numbers are staggering. One person dies of melanoma every hour and one in fifty men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their lifetime. Now a new experimental therapy is training the body's immune system to fight the disease.

    More>>
  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
  • Brain surgery through the nose

    Brain surgery through the nose

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:45:33 GMT
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.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.