Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers recommend exercise for breast cancer survivors, lymphedema patients

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition common in breast cancer survivors, affects three million people in the US. In the past, most people believed that exercise might induce or worsen lymphedema. After reviewing the literature, researchers say the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for breast cancer survivors and patients with lymphedema.

Lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition common in breast cancer survivors, affects three million people in the U.S. In the past, most people believed that exercise might induce or worsen lymphedema. After reviewing the literature, University of Missouri researchers say the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for breast cancer survivors and patients with lymphedema. Jane Armer, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, says patients at risk for lymphedema can exercise if they closely monitor their activities.

"Exercise can be beneficial and not harmful for breast cancer survivors," Armer said. "Each individual should balance the pros and cons of the activity she chooses, but keep in mind that being sedentary has risks and being active is beneficial in many ways, including possibly reducing the risk of cancer recurrence."

Lymphedema can occur any time after cancer treatment and is usually caused by the removal or radiation of lymph nodes as part of the treatment process. Armer found that patients who exercise had no greater risk for developing lymphedema than those who do not exercise. In addition, patients with lymphedema did not worsen their condition by exercising. She says future research is needed to determine whether exercise prevents the condition.

"Breast cancer survivors do not need to restrict their activity as we once thought," Armer said. "If patients want to be active, they should carefully condition their bodies by increasing repetitions of resistance exercises under proper supervision."

In another new literature review, Armer and her colleagues examined published literature pertaining to the surgical treatment of lymphedema. They found that in most studies surgery did not eliminate the need for traditional compression garments in patients with lymphedema.

"Many people think surgery will correct the underlying lymphatic problem, but that is not correct," Armer said. "There are several surgical techniques that may reduce the swelling associated with lymphedema. In most cases, it is recommended that patients undergo traditional therapy using specialized massage and compression garments and bandages to reduce fluid and swelling before considering surgery."

The literature reviews were the first two in a series of thirteen reviews to be published in conjunction with the American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP). Established in 2008, the ALFP aims to increase awareness of lymphedema, improve patient care and enhance training for professionals caring for persons at risk or with cancer-related lymphedema. The ALFP has two main goals: maintain up-to-date best practices supported with evidence-based lymphedema treatment guidelines for health practitioners, and create a minimum data set of all available lymphedema research and clinical data.

The first article, "Exercise in patients with lymphedema: A systematic review of the contemporary literature," was published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. The second, "The surgical treatment of lymphedema: A systematic review of the contemporary literature," was published in Annals of Surgical Oncology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Researchers recommend exercise for breast cancer survivors, lymphedema patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201125426.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2011, December 1). Researchers recommend exercise for breast cancer survivors, lymphedema patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201125426.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Researchers recommend exercise for breast cancer survivors, lymphedema patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201125426.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins