Breast Cancer Survivor Facts and Fictions

Breast Cancer Survivor Facts and Fictions

Breast Cancer Survivor Facts and Fictions
Lymph node removal during breast cancer surgery can lead to lymphedema—painful limb swelling that can become chronic. But much advice given to survivors isn’t backed by solid medical evidence, according to Babak Mehrara, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Common Advice    
Watch your weight.
Don’t lift your arms above your head.
Take special precautions when you fly.
Stay away from heat and heat treatments.
Skip vigorous exercise.

Fact Or Fiction?
Fact. Being overweight or obese doubles the risk of getting lymphedema.
Fiction. No need to wear, for example, special constriction sleeves. Flying is safe.
Fiction. It’s not backed by evidence.
Fiction. On the contrary, some evidence indicates that heat therapy can actually reduce limb swelling.
Fiction. The opposite is true! Engage in both aerobic exercise and resistance training, which help offset symptoms regardless of whether weight loss occurs. For best results, combine with an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet rich in tomatoes, legumes and seafood.

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