It was Dr. Schmitz’s PAL (Physical Activity and Lymphedema) Trial that showed that survivors with lymphedema (swelling of the limbs) could benefit from gradual, closely supervised weight training – a finding that challenged the conventional wisdom that lymphedema sufferers should avoid weight-bearing exercise. She published her findings in the August issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. We profiled this research in the latest issue of AICR’s ScienceNow newsletter.
But that doesn’t mean that women who have, or who are at high risk for lymphedema, should just head to the gym and start lifting away. We caught up with Dr. Schmitz at lunch, and she talked about two online resources to help these women get the guidance they need.
www.lymphnet.org – The National Lymphedema Network. Find physical therapists trained in lymphedema issues.
www.strengthandcourage.net – Order a DVD on exercise after breast cancer surgery – includes many of the exercises used in Dr. Schmitz’s PAL trial.
For more general advice about diet and physical activity during and after cancer, don’t forget to check out the AICR/New York Presbyterian Hospital DVD, Food For the Fight: Guidelines for Healthy Nutrition During and After Cancer Treatment