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Subjects were also tested for peak maximal isometric knee extension strength of the right leg at the beginning and end of the study.

The resistance training consisted of light weight lifting.

These are just some of the benefits of lifting weights—and heavy ones

A new study has found that the number of injuries from weight training has increased as well
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Several previous studies, including a case series and small randomized, controlled trials, have also suggested that weight lifting is safe for breast-cancer survivors with lymphedema. The current trial was larger and of longer duration than those previously reported and also differed by testing a weight-lifting protocol with no upper limit on the resistance level to which participants could progress. A strength of this trial is its delivery in community fitness centers, primarily YMCAs, by trainers employed by these fitness centers. We adopted this approach with the goal of dissemination of the weight-lifting program if it proved effective. The ongoing LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program (a collaboration of the YMCA and the Lance Armstrong Foundation) includes the protocol described here as an intervention that can be offered to cancer survivors in YMCAs across the United States. Additional strengths of the present trial are the inclusion of a racially diverse population with a wide range of time since diagnosis (1 to 15 years) and the high rate of follow-up.

Weight Lifting May Be OK After Breast Cancer - WebMD

All of the older population had pre-test biopsies taken while 14 of the older subjects also had post-training muscle biopsies.
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A total of 141 women with a history of breast cancer and current lymphedema were recruited from October 2005 through March 2007; follow-up was completed by August 2008. Recruitment methods included letters sent by state cancer registries, advertisements and interviews, and flyers. Eligible women had a history of unilateral nonmetastatic breast cancer 1 to 15 years before study entry and a body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 50 or less, were not actively trying to lose weight, and had no current evidence of cancer, no medical conditions that would limit exercise, no history of weight lifting during the previous year, at least one lymph node removed, and a clinical diagnosis of stable breast-cancer–related lymphedema. Lymphedema was defined as a difference in the volume or circumference between the affected and unaffected limb of 10% or more or, according to Common Toxicity Criteria, arm swelling, obscuration of the anatomical architecture of the arm, or pitting edema. If a woman reported having lymphedema but it was not evident at study entry, she was required to provide written documentation of a previous clinical diagnosis of lymphedema and treatment from a certified lymphedema therapist. Stable lymphedema was defined as the absence in the past 3 months of therapist-delivered treatment, more than one arm infection requiring antibiotics, change in ability to perform activities of daily living, and verified changes in arm swelling of more than 10%.


Aug 12, 2009 · Aug

A University of Pennsylvania study found that weight lifting can help survivors stay healthy
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We performed a randomized, controlled trial of twice-weekly progressive weight lifting involving 141 breast-cancer survivors with stable lymphedema of the arm. The primary outcome was the change in arm and hand swelling at 1 year, as measured through displaced water volume of the affected and unaffected limbs. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of exacerbations of lymphedema, number and severity of lymphedema symptoms, and muscle strength. Participants were required to wear a well-fitted compression garment while weight lifting.

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Contrary to common guidelines to avoid lifting with the affected limb, we found that weight lifting did not significantly affect the severity of breast cancer–associated lymphedema (as assessed by the primary outcome, an absolute increase of ≥5 percentage points in the interlimb volume difference). In addition, weight lifting reduced the number and severity of arm and hand symptoms, increased muscular strength, and reduced the incidence of lymphedema exacerbations as assessed by a lymphedema specialist.

Weight Lifting May Be OK After Breast Cancer Surgery

There was no significant difference between the two groups in the proportion of women who had a change in limb swelling of 5% or more (). This result did not materially change when the analysis was repeated without any imputed data from participants who were lost to follow-up (results not shown). Among the 130 women who had no second primary or recurrent cancers and were not lost to follow-up, 23 in the control group and 20 in the weight-lifting group were evaluated for exacerbation. Of these, 19 and 9 participants, respectively, were found to have had an exacerbation (83% vs. 45%). The total number of treatment sessions for exacerbation was 195 in the control group, as compared with 77 in the weight-lifting group. The number and severity of symptoms reported decreased more in the weight-lifting group than in the control group. No significant differences were noted between the two study groups with regard to self-reported adherence to prescribed lymphedema self-care therapies (results not shown). Post hoc analyses that excluded participants with grade 0 lymphedema yielded results similar to those reported in (results not shown). Adjustment for baseline variables (cancer stage, number of nodes removed, race, physical activity, diet, and body-mass index) did not materially alter these results. There were no serious adverse events related to the intervention.

Weight training-related injuries increasing -- ScienceDaily

Sample-size calculations were based on the aim of demonstrating equivalence between the weight-lifting group and the control group with respect to the primary outcome of changes in arm and hand swelling, as measured by displaced water volume. The statistical power of the study was set at 80%, with a significance level of 0.05, allowing for loss to follow-up of 20% of participants. Given these parameters and a null hypothesis of nonequivalence (a between-group difference of >20% in the proportion of women who had an increase of 5 percentage points in the interlimb volume discrepancy), we sought to recruit 144 women with lymphedema to provide adequate power against an alternative equivalence hypothesis (a between-group difference of