The University of Arizona
Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

A HOME-BASED WEIGHT LIFTING PROGRAM FOR PATIENTS WITH ARM LYMPHEDEMA FOLLOWING BREAST CANCER TREATMENT: A PILOT AND FEASIBILITY STUDY

K Johansson, P Klernas, A Weibull, S Mattsson

Abstract


It is well documented that resistanceexercise can be performed by patients withbreast cancer-related arm lymphedema. Theaim of this pilot study was to evaluate thefeasibility and safety of a 12-week selfadministeredweight lifting program for armand shoulder, and its influence on armlymphedema status, upper extremity musclestrength, and disability. Twenty-three patientswith breast cancer-related arm lymphedemaperformed the program 3 times/week. Theweight resistance levels were individuallyadjusted for shoulder flexion and adduction,and elbow extension and flexion correspondingto a repetition range of 8-12 repetitionmaximum. A log book was used to evaluateadherence to the program, wearing ofcompression sleeve and perceived exertion.Measurements were performed before a2-week control period without intervention,and before and after intervention, and witharm volume measurements every fortnightto check for adverse events.Results revealed no significant changesduring the control period. Adherence to theintervention program was excellent, and twoadverse events were registered during the firstweeks. After intervention, an increase ofshoulder and arm strength (measured by anisometric muscle strength device) was found inall exercises (p=0.001-0.003). A reduction ofexcess volume was shown, in ml (p=0.03) andpercentage (p=0.005), measured by waterdisplacement method. A tendency towardsreduction (p=0.07) of fat tissue in the upperarm (n=10) in both arms was found measuredby MRI.In this pilot study, we concluded that ahome-based weight-lifting program performedby patients with breast cancer-related armlymphedema is feasible and safe providingthat the program includes regular follow-upfor safety.

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.