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Weight Training Study Reveals Benefits after having Breast Cancer

weights-2-1495625 v2In a new study in the academic journal Healthcare, FSU Professor of Exercise Science Lynn Panton reveals that weight training can be beneficial to breast cancer survivors. After cancer treatment has ended it is common to have lost some muscle and bone strength from inactivity caused from the impact of treatment. Weight training was shown to help participating patients in the study to be able to take on pastime physical functions that improved their lives; including routine chores, walking up stairs and taking a jacket on and off.

Panton’s study participants improved an average of
12 percent after participating in a 6-month weight training program at FSU. Twenty-seven breast cancer survivors, ages 51 to 74 years old, volunteered to join two, one-hour sessions every week where Panton and students helped with workouts using a variety of weight machines. They would also start with a five-minute warm-up and then stretch at the end of the exercises.

For years, doctors feared that weight training could potentially be harmful to cancer survivors due to causing an injury or from major swelling in the arms called lymphedema. But the study revealed that their physical functions improved, and none of the women experienced injuries or lymphedema.

Though treatments and weight training can improve the overall outlook for patients, there are still a lot of components to a regimen to help one regain their prior physical strength and functionality. It is recommended that patients explore different recovery programs to achieve long-term health and to always ask the advice of medical professionals when trying something new that could make a big impact on one’s physical well-being. Healthy nutritional diets and exercise continue to be longstanding recommendations.

An important aspect of nutrition advice for cancer patients is to prevent loss of muscle mass by providing sufficient protein both during and after treatment. At the Center we identify exactly how much protein is required using bio-impedance analysis. Along with weight training this would be expected to provide optimal recommendations for breast cancer as well as other cancer survivors.

For an article on Lynn Panton’s study and the impact weight training can have on breast cancer survivors, go to:

To view the study, go to:

1 Comment
  • Massage by Julia

    As a Cancer Exercise Specialist, I completely agree with the ideas in this article. Patients, under the guidance of a trained therapist/instructor, can improve their range of motion, flexibility, balance, and strength after cancer surgery.

    November 2, 2015 20:11
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