Breast Cancer Survivors, Lymphedema Patients Recommended To Exercise
According to the researchers of University of Missouri, the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for breast cancer survivors and patients with lymphedema.
Lymphedema is a chronic swelling condition common in breast cancer survivors and is usually caused by the removal or radiation of lymph nodes and can occur at any time after cancer treatment.
Exercise can be beneficial rather than being harmful for breast cancer survivors, each individual should take note and weigh the pros and cons of the activity she chooses. Being active has its benefits in many ways, including possible reduction of risk that cancer might recur while, being inactive has risks.
According to Jane Armer, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, patients who exercise had no greater risk for developing lymphedema than those who do not exercise. In addition, being active and doing some exercise did not worsen the condition of patients with lymphedema. She said that breast cancer survivors do not need to restrict their activity as once thought, if patients want to be active, they should carefully condition their bodies by increasing repetitions of resistance exercises under proper supervision.
Armer and her colleagues found that surgery did not eliminate the need for traditional compression garments in patients with lymphedema. They recommended that patients undergo traditional therapy using specialized massage and compression garments and bandages to reduce fluid and swelling before considering surgery.
The American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP) was 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.
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