Home-Based Exercise, Weight Loss Interventions Do Not Improve Breast-Cancer Lymphedema

Home Blog Home-Based Exercise, Weight Loss Interventions Do Not Improve Breast-Cancer Lymphedema

A recent research study recently found that home-based exercise and/or weight loss intervention failed to improve breast cancer-related lymphedema outcomes among breast cancer survivors who are overweight. The study was conducted by Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MPH, professor in the department of public health sciences and in the department of physical medicne and rehabilitation at Penn State Cancer Institute and hypothesized that combining weight loss and exercise would achieve the greatest reduction in arm swelling and a reduction in arm swelling with weight loss only would also be found at a lesser degree.

Researchers evaluated 351 survivors who were overweight and had breast cancer-related lymphedema over 4 years from 2012-2016. They found that a 12-month weight-loss intervention, alone or in combination with a home-based exercise regimen did not decrease arm swelling or improve clinical lymphedema attributes. Facility-based resistance exercise program may provide greater benefits.

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