From this article Study: Weightlifting helps breast cancer survivors:
Breast cancer survivors have been getting bum advice. For decades, many doctors warned that lifting weights or even heavy groceries could cause painful arm swelling. New research shows that weight training actually helps prevent this problem.
"How many generations of women have been told to avoid lifting heavy objects?" Dr. Eric Winer, breast cancer chief at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, lamented after seeing the surprising results of the new study. "Women who were doing the lifting actually had fewer arm problems because they had better muscle tone."
More than 2.4 million Americans are breast cancer survivors, and the study could mean a big difference in their quality of life. Cancer treatment-related arm swelling now appears to be one of many ailments made better by exercise — not worse, Schmitz said.
"Fifty years ago we told people who had a heart attack not to exercise anymore," and people with sore backs to heal with bed rest, Schmitz said. "It was well-meaning advice but it was polar opposite of the truth."
This blog has already dealt with this subject in this blog post: Exercise for Women Living with Lymphedema
At Kelly’s Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Ultimate Fitness Trainers we have had success working with recovering cancer patients. The recovery systems of these patients are fragile. They cannot stand long bouts of exercise. Our personal training sessions are short and designed to efficiently stimulate a change; we then give them plenty of time to recover.
The equipment we use is MedX medical rehab equipment that is more easily tolerated by the joints. We can restrict the range of motion to a pain-free range of motion, and we use controlled movements to minimize forces that could aggravate pre-existing conditions.
Lance Armstrong once said. “Before I just lived now I live strong”. The catch 22 is doing it without aggravating pre-existing conditions. As the article points out, it can be done.