Results of a new study suggest that it is okay for women to begin weight lifting routines following breast cancer.
Previously it was thought that weight lifting by breast cancer survivors could promote swelling in the arms from lymphedema but the new research debunks this belief.
Lymphedema is the build up of fluid in the muscles, giving them a bloated look that is brought on by the removal of lymph nodes.
The findings “do not mean women can just go out, buy a set of weights and start their own rehabilitation program,” says researcher Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
What “breast cancer survivors should do is go to their physician and insist on getting a prescription for physical therapy. The physical therapist can evaluate them and develop a safe weight lifting program,” Schmitz tells WebMD.