Exercise benefits cancer patients after lymph node removal
Regular exercise may benefit breast cancer patients who had their lymph nodes removed more than those who did not.
Researchers at Asan Medical Center in Seoul found that such patients’ are less tired and their heart-lung function improve with daily exercise. In contrast, patients who did not go through lymphadenectomy experienced lethargy and less significant improvement in the respiratory system.
The team of Rehabilitation Medicine led by Jeon Jae-young observed 95 participants in radiotherapy over six weeks.
The breast cancer patients followed a routine that included aerobic workouts, strength training and stretching for five days a week.
The first group’s average score on a fatigue scale decreased from 17.9 and 15.5 (13 percent) while maximum oxygen uptake increased from 23.5 to 30.1 liter per minute (38 percent).
In contrast, patients without removal showed increased from 12.1 points to 13.8 on the fatigue scale and had less improvement in cardio-pulmonary function from 24.9 to 29.4 (18 percent).
Stage 2 breast cancer patients have lymph nodes under the arm removed to examine them for cancer cells and prevent further metastases.
Jeon said the procedure could cause pain in the shoulders or restrict joint movements that can lead to constant exhaustion and failure of pulmonary function.
This result can help professionals encourage exercise routines in patients to improve their health.