Dear friends of the NLN,
I am pleased to share with you some clarifications related to the study by Dr Kathryn Schmitz and colleagues, Weight Lifting in Women with Breast-Cancer-Related Lymphedema, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on August 13, 2009. When the article first appeared there was a huge reaction from the media, and many inaccurate statements were made about the research which were confusing and misleading. The NLN and many of our affiliated clinics received phone calls from patients and professionals expressing frustration about the inaccuracy, reporting and requesting clarification of the study results and what it means for individuals living with or at risk for lymphedema.
First and foremost we thank Dr Schmitz for addressing this issue and clarifying this important information. There is minimal literature available about post breast-cancer-related exercise and its effect on lymphedema.
The NLN Medical Advisory Committee contacted Dr Schmitz and she graciously agreed to write a response to the inaccuracies written in the media to clear up misconceptions about what the PAL trial did and did not show, and the continued need to follow risk reduction guidelines. (See Position Papers on Risk Reduction and Exercise).
We are pleased to attach Dr Schmitz response (Weight Lifting and Lymphedema: Clearing Up Misconceptions), and sincerely hope that this will help to clarify the results of the study and what they mean to individuals living with or at risk for lymphedema.
We would like to hear from you, if you have questions or additional comments regarding the study please visit this site. For those interested in the PAL protocol, please contact Dr. Schmitz directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saskia R.J. Thiadens R.N.
Executive Director NLN