Does the effect of weight lifting on lymphedema following breast cancer differ by diagnostic method: results from a randomized controlled trial

Hayes, Sandi, Speck, Rebecca, Reimet, Elizabeth, Stark, Azadeh, & Schmitz, Kathryn (2011) Does the effect of weight lifting on lymphedema following breast cancer differ by diagnostic method: results from a randomized controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 130(1), pp. 227-234.

View at publisher


The lymphedema diagnostic method used in descriptive or intervention studies may influence results found. The purposes of this work were to compare baseline lymphedema prevalence in the physical activity and lymphedema (PAL) trial cohort and to subsequently compare the effect of the weight-lifting intervention on lymphedema, according to four standard diagnostic methods. The PAL trial was a randomized controlled intervention study, involving 295 women who had previously been treated for breast cancer, and evaluated the effect of 12 months of weight lifting on lymphedema status. Four diagnostic methods were used to evaluate lymphedema outcomes: (i) interlimb volume difference through water displacement, (ii) interlimb size difference through sum of arm circumferences, (iii) interlimb impedance ratio using bioimpedance spectroscopy, and (iv) a validated self-report survey. Of the 295 women who participated in the PAL trial, between 22 and 52% were considered to have lymphedema at baseline according to the four diagnostic criteria used. No between-group differences were noted in the proportion of women who had a change in interlimb volume, interlimb size, interlimb ratio, or survey score of ≥5, ≥5, ≥10%, and 1 unit, respectively (cumulative incidence ratio at study end for each measure ranged between 0.6 and 0.8, with confidence intervals spanning 1.0). The variation in proportions of women within the PAL trial considered to have lymphoedema at baseline highlights the potential impact of the diagnostic criteria on population surveillance regarding prevalence of this common morbidity of treatment. Importantly though, progressive weight lifting was shown to be safe for women following breast cancer, even for those at risk or with lymphedema, irrespective of the diagnostic criteria used.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
18 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

155 since deposited on 19 Jul 2012
27 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 52481
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Lymphedema, Breast Cancer, Strength Training, Diagnostic Methods, Randomized Controlled Trial
DOI: 10.1007/s10549-011-1547-6
ISSN: 0167-6806
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 06:31
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2013 01:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page