Breast Cancer Survivors Need To Perform Exercises to Control Lymphedema

Breast cancer is on an alarming rise among women not only in the United States but in all parts of the world. While cases of breast cancer that have been cured are on an increase as well, these women suffer a number of side effects on the cancer as well as the treatment. one of the conditions that follows breast cancer is Lymphedema. This condition often tends to be chronic and is characterized by swelling in the breast. Water retention in the breast takes place when lymphedema attacks. This condition is caused when cancer obstructs the flow of lymphatic fluid and hence, the swelling. Risk of infection is high in lymphedema. As per statistics, the condition is known to affect over three million cancer inflicted women in the United States.
Exercise is known to be one of the best ways of avoiding the condition. Precise exercises help in lymphatic drainage and hence, curb swelling and infection. Latest research has now confirmed the fact that exercise helps control the condition in a very desirable and effective manner. The research has been conducted by scientists from the University of Missouri.

However, the study has also stressed that certain kinds of exercises are not suitable for breast cancer survivors and those with lymphedema and so, the benefits and disadvantages of different exercises have to be understood before embarking on a fitness regime. Exercise also reduces the change of reoccurrence of the cancer. On the other hand, sedentary life can hamper health and increase undesirable risks.

The incidence of lymphedema does not take place during a specific duration after the cancer and can occur at any time. Although exercise is known to have good affects on the disease, there are no proofs that it can prevent the problem. There is also no need for cancer survivors to stop indulging in exercises. However, it is recommended that the exercise be carried on under expert supervision. The patient should begin slow and can then gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise. Wearing compression garments is another effective way of keeping the swelling and water retention under control. Surgical procedures are also only a remedial measure and not a cure for lymphedema, which is caused when cancer patients undergo radiation therapy or when the infected lymph nodes are removed. Surgery is usually the last resort for solving lymphedema problem. Before opting for surgery, personalized exercises, massage therapies and use of the right compression garments have to be prioritized.