The Power of Exercise During and After Breast Cancer Treatment

February 3, 2011

For decades women were warned to avoid lifting anything over five pounds after breast cancer surgery. It was thought that doing so would lead to developing lymphedema, a painful and often debilitating condition affecting a significant minority of breast cancer survivors, or making it worse. Results of a Penn study, however, prove the opposite is true. The Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) study shows unequivocally that exercise and weightlifting can not only keep lymphedema from worsening, but also prevent it from occurring at all.

“This study clearly shows that these women have a weapon to reduce their risk of developing lymphedema while reaping the many other rewards of weightlifting they have missed out on,” said Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the study’s principal investigator... Read More