More than 150 breast cancer survivors at risk for lymphedema were randomized to a one-year weight-lifting group or to no intervention. At the end of the study those in the weight-lifting group actually had less lymphedema than those with no intervention (5% vs. 11%). Among women who had five or more nodes removed the difference was even greater (7% vs. 22%). This is good news for breast cancer survivors who want to engage in upper body exercise.
PositiveTip: Slowly progressive weight-lifting exercises can confer the health benefits of upper-body exercise to all women, including breast cancer survivors.