Study: Cancer Survivors Gain Strength with Strength Training

Among the many side effects of cancer treatment, muscle loss is one that can make daily tasks such as lifting groceries and running errands become challenging. Dumbbell-SP005620_7_300w

Now an analysis of the research suggests that survivors who lift weights and do other resistance exercises improve both arm and leg muscles. And for the strongest arms, resistance training at a low to moderate intensity works the best.

The review was published last week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The new study looking only at randomized controlled trials — considered the gold standard of studies — included studies on resistance training among cancer patients and survivors. The researchers ended up with 11 relevant studies that included almost 1200 people. Each comparing a resistance training  group against a comparison. The majority of studies worked with breast and prostate patients and survivors.

Participants had conducted resistance training exercises from 3 months up to a year. Most involved two training sessions a week. Continue reading


Higher Weight Links to Earlier Death for Some Breast Cancer Survivors

Research is clear that obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Now, a large study suggests that women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer have the greatest risk of an earlier death and recurrence, even when undergoing optimal treatment.

The study was published early online in the journal CANCER. Here’s the abstract.

The link was seen among women who had hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, which make up about two-thirds of breast cancers.

In all, the study included almost 7,000 women who went through treatment. The researchers pulled data from three National Cancer Institute trials that were studying the effects of chemotherapy, tamoxifen and/or other treatments on women with breast cancer. Their breast cancers ranged from the early stage to the later stage III, where the cancer could have spread to nearby lymph nodes.

The largest of the three trials tracked the women’s health for an average of 8 years; the other two followed the women for 14 years. Continue reading