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Weight Lifting May Be Ok After Breast Cancer Surgery

Arm measurements were taken throughout the one-year study. A woman was considered to have lymphedema if her affected arm swelled by 5% or more. Eleven percent of 72 women in the weight lifting group had their affected arm swell by 5% or more vs. 17% of 75 women who did not change their normal physical activities. Among women who had five or more lymph nodes removed during breast cancer surgery, 7% of 45 women in this group had arm swelling of 5% or more, compared with 22% of 49 women who did not lift weights. This translates to a 70% reduction in risk, Schmitz says. Women in the weight lifting group were given a one-year membership to a local fitness center. For 13 weeks, they attended small, twice-weekly, 90-minute classes led by certified fitness professionals who taught them safe techniques for weight lifting using both free weights and machines. Weight was increased slowly for each exercise if the women had no arm symptoms including swelling, pain , tingling, or numbness.
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Weight Lifting; An Olympic Dream Is Deferred

"You did what you were told," said Krastev, an amiable man of daunting size, 6-3, 375 pounds. "If you asked what they were, they would take you off the team." Returning in Disgrace As a member of the national team, Krastev always complied, even with "vitamins." That changed when the team returned to Sofia midway through the Olympics in 1988. This is the enduring scene in Krastev's mind: As the weight lifters made their way through the crowded airport, a woman approached and offered each of them a flower. One of the coaches asked if she had any umbrellas, a question that brought a look of befuddlement. "Umbrellas?" she said. "But why?" "Because people will spit at us," he said. "We have to protect ourselves." "I put my head down like Ben Johnson," Krastev said.
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