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Lifting after breast cancer

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Bandit, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Bandit

    Bandit Active Member

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    My mother (age 67) recently went through a "bout" of breast cancer. She had surgery in both breasts and had a couple of lymph nodes removed from both armpits. She was told by her doctor not to lift heavy things because of this. I never really understood the doctors reasoning, but apparently the lack of those lymph nodes mean that lifting eg. weights will somehow be dangerous/cause inflammation.

    Is this a load of waffle? My mum - who is so far fully cured - has healed compeltely from the surgery (which took place two years ago) and would like to do something about her arms, which she now finds flabby. She also complains that her arms have become weaker since the surgery. I'd like to get her a some free weights (dumbells - not pink ones), so she can work out at home. I'll never convince her to join a gym.

    Do any of you have experience with lifting weights after this kind of surgery? Have you ever heard that the removal of some of the lymph nodes can cause a problem?

    Any thoughts or suggestions are very wellcome.
     
  2. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Member

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    :) Hello, I've been watching since the day you posted this; watching and hoping someone with knowledge and or experience would reply............Blessedly I have been spared the occasion to have any first hand knowledge/experience of what your mother is/has gone through; that said I fear many, many and possibly most women do live under the 'shadow' of being 'visited' with similar circumstances. Hopefully someone who can, intelligently, address your questions and concerns will step forward.........just to know that there is 'physically active life' (as in lifting) after the defeat of breast cancer would be consoling. :)
     
  3. Bandit

    Bandit Active Member

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    Thank you for your kind reply, Carole.

    My fingers are crossed as well.
     
  4. PTre

    PTre Active Member

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    I am a phd-student in molecular medicine which gives me a natural scientific interest for questions like the one posted by Bandit.

    I did a small literature research and found that a recent study from august 2009 which states that weight lifting contrary to the deacade-old belief of being bad might actually be rather good for the overall health and the related healing processes after a breast-cancer removal.

    Here are the links to the paper and to a report from cnn health about the topic.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/13/weight.lifting.breast.cancer/index.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19675330?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

    Please make sure to research for yourself before rushing to conclusions... every scientific information around the world has to be taken with a grain of salt. I have a pretty good feeling with this study, but please tell your mother to take care before really starting to lift weights.

    I hope this helps - all the best to her!

    -----------------------------------------------



    Edith says: There actually is an older study about this topic which concurs with the findings from the younger study..

    its a free paper, so here is the link

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/utils/fref.fcgi?PrId=3058&itool=AbstractPlus-def&uid=16568409&nlmid=0374236&db=pubmed&url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.21829
     
    #4 PTre, Oct 7, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  5. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Member

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    :) Thank you Bandit for posing the question and 'thank you' too PTre for your informed reply and information source............:)

    Truly, each year when I go for my routine mammogram my overriding thought is 'please make it good...........I don't want to stop lifting'....Not my 'thread' but it was most certainly one of great interest to me. :)
     
  6. Bandit

    Bandit Active Member

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    Thanks for you informative reply, PTre. I'll take some time to go over the studies and try and explain my findings to my mother.

    Carole, if it's any consolation, my mum is a very active and vivacious woman who I think handled the cancer admirably. She and my father just moved to a new country (where they don't quite speak the language) and already have a more active social life than I do. They play golf as often as they can and generally live what seems to be a very sweet life, but in all fairness they could both do with regular workouts. In other words, there is definitely a possibility of a good, active life after breastcancer:nod:

    I am of course aware that not everyone is as lucky and gets through it as well as my mum has, but the possibility is definitely there.

    What suprised me most was that once she was diagnosed and the news got out, masses of women all of a sudden came around to tell their own stories, show their scars and offer helpful advice for dealing with the treatment. It was astounding. These were all healthy looking, happy, active, beautiful women, who I would've never guessed had undergone any form of cancer surgery.
     
  7. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    I had lymphoma with some nodes surgically removed during a colon resection. Obviously a very different thing, but I've lifted for nearly 5 years afterwards and never had any advice to not lift due to the lymph node removal.

    Hope your mother is doing well.
     

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