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EAGLEMOM532's Photo EAGLEMOM532 SparkPoints: (9)
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8/23/09 9:50 A

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I am 2 years post-surgery, and lymphadema is something I have never been "blessed" with. I only had 9 nodes removed, and don't know whether that had anything to do with it. My surgeon recommended that I watch what I lifted until I was completely healed.

Lucinda in Winchester,VA

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STEPH606's Photo STEPH606 Posts: 343
8/23/09 7:03 A

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I agree about the 5 pound weight limit being hard, especially with my right arm. I lift weights and think it helps. When I had surgery last year, I was told to wear a sleeve and glove proactively while lifting and running, and then after to do light lymph massage. It seems to be working so far.

JANMAR632's Photo JANMAR632 Posts: 75
8/21/09 12:50 P

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Thanks for the good news. I have lymphedema and wear the sleeve and glove on my left. I will try to contact the physical therapist I saw when diagnosed. I did not lift weights but would like to use some of the other gym equipment for upper body strength.

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RAVENCREST1's Photo RAVENCREST1 Posts: 547
8/17/09 5:14 P

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Gracie, Thanks for the info. I luckily have not had this yet and have feared it. Good to know. Take care. Hugs, Gail

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IWANNABEE's Photo IWANNABEE Posts: 642
8/16/09 4:25 P

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Very interesting! I have not had any trouble with lymphedema yet and could never stick to just lifting a max of 5lbs. (with that arm in question). I know of a few women who do dragon boat racing after having had mastectomies and have not had any major problems with it. Mentally it just felt like it would be okay. Maybe it has something to do with being in tune with our bodies.
Jo

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PATSYANN47's Photo PATSYANN47 Posts: 3,157
8/16/09 11:32 A

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I had heard a bit of this on Fox News. I've not had this problem, but have always feared it. My husband has been almost too protective and was afraid I'd over do it at the gym. I was glad to hear this news as it confirms what I'd learned at the gym from personal experience.

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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,812
8/15/09 9:56 A

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This is great news to me, I have mild lymphedema which has been chronic since february in my hand and 3 fingers. It has improved somewhat and I do lift light weight, hope it goes away completely. Thanks Gracie!

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
8/15/09 9:21 A

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I read that yesterday as well....thought about posting a link, but "he who hesitates is lost" and you beat me to it, good job!! I saved it for future reference, as I'm happy not to be dealing with this now, but what a great idea to share it with the team, thanks Gracie!

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GRACIE0204's Photo GRACIE0204 Posts: 5,275
8/15/09 8:39 A

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I read this article and it may have been on sparks health news page but I thought I would share it with you all as a lot of us have this or could develop it. (I read it on another website)


Health News
Weight Lifting Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
8/12/2009
Print E-mail

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Lifting weights can help prevent flare-ups of lymphedema, a painful swelling of the arm that often occurs after breast cancer surgery, new research shows.

The finding runs counter to what women have been told for years -- that they should avoid stressing the arm during strength training or other exercise because muscle strain can cause lymphedema to worsen.

The study is published in the Aug. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers divided 141 breast cancer survivors who had lymphedema into two groups. One group did twice-weekly weight training using slowly increasing weights for 13 weeks. Afterward, they were told to continue the exercises unsupervised for 39 weeks. The other group was told to maintain their normal exercise and activity regimen.

About 11 percent of the weight-lifting group and 12 percent of the control group had an increase of 5 percent or more in limb swelling, according to the study, not a significant difference.

Yet the weight-lifting group had greater improvements in self-reported severity of lymphedema symptoms, an improvement in upper- and lower-body strength and a lower incidence of lymphedema exacerbations.

About 14 percent of the weight-lifting group experienced a flare-up compared to 29 percent of those in the control group, according to a certified lymphedema specialist who examined the participants.

"We found that twice-weekly, slowly progressive strength training does not increase the likelihood of swelling and decreases the likelihood of flare-ups," said study author Kathryn Schmitz, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

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