Progressive resistance training to prevent arm lymphedema in the first year after breast cancer surgery: Results of a randomized controlled trial.

Existing research suggests that progressive resistance training (PRT) after breast cancer (BC) surgery is safe, but the preventive effect on arm lymphedema has yet to be determined. Women aged 18 to 75 years who were undergoing BC surgery with axillary lymph node dissection were eligible for the study. Recruited on the day of surgery, participants were allocated to intervention or usual care by computer randomization. The intervention consisted of PRT 3 times per week: in the first 20 weeks as a supervised group exercise and in the last 30 weeks as a self-administered exercise. The primary outcome was arm lymphedema, which was defined as a >3% increase in the interlimb volume difference by water displacement.