Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Oncol. Aug 10, 2015; 6(4): 43-44
Published online Aug 10, 2015. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v6.i4.43
Concise review on the safety of exercise on symptoms of lymphedema
Casie Morris, Karen Y Wonders
Casie Morris, Department of Exercise Science, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH 45435, United States
Casie Morris, Karen Y Wonders, Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, Dayton, OH 45404, United States
Karen Y Wonders, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45404, United States
Author contributions: Both authors contributed equally to this work; Morris C wrote the body of the manuscript; Wonders KY edited and added abstract, introduction, and conclusion wording.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflicts of interest for this minireviews.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Karen Y Wonders, PhD, FACSM, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45404, United States.
Telephone: +1-937-7752637 Fax: +1-937-7754252
Received: May 12, 2015
Peer-review started: May 16, 2015
First decision: June 3, 2015
Revised: June 21, 2015
Accepted: June 30, 2015
Article in press: July 2, 2015
Published online: August 10, 2015

Lymphedema is an atypical accumulation of high-protein fluid located just beneath the skin, which often occurs in the arm or leg. Exercising with lymphedema was traditionally considered to be unsafe. However, recent research indicates that exercise may be beneficial to individuals with lymphedema. Studies indicate that exercise can improve the range of motion and strength of the afflicted limb(s), as well as overall fitness and functional quality of life, and can be performed without exacerbating symptoms of lymphedema.

Keywords: Quality of life, Lymphedema, Exercise, Breast cancer

Core tip: Recent research lends credibility to the safety and efficacy of strength training in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema. Appropriately prescribed upper body resistance exercise, carried out under the supervision of a certified cancer exercise trainer is not likely to cause an increased risk of lymphedema or symptom exacerbation.