Weightlifting Slashes Lymphedema Risk After Breast Cancer Treatment

Weightlifting could play a key role in the prevention of the painful condition lymphedema, which causes swollen limbs, following breast cancer treatment. The new research could lead to a reversal of long-running advice that breast cancer survivors should avoid lifting anything heavier than five pounds.

Researchers enrolled more than 150 breast cancer survivors in the study. Overall, they found that a slowly progressive weightlifting regimen cut risk of developing the condition during the yearlong study by 35 percent.

Science Daily reports:

“More than 2.4 million breast cancer survivors live in the United States ... [T]he threat of lymphedema looms large as they complete treatment and transition to their new life as cancer survivors. The condition is most common following surgery to remove multiple lymph nodes near the cancerous breast; previous studies have shown that as many as 47 percent of these women later develop lymphedema, which leads to costly and often futile treatment.”

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