Aims and objectives
Breast cancer-related lymphoedema (BCRL) is a side effect of cancer treatment and can be alleviated by resistance exercise. This systematic, evidence-based review examined the existing best evidence on resistance exercise for BCRL to accurately describe the current status of the field and offer recommendations for clinicians.
This review adheres to the PRISMA guidelines. Clinical practice guidelines, consensus documents, systematic reviews and other related evidence-based resources about resistance exercise for BCRL were retrieved through the English databases and guideline websites. The publication data limit was set to December 2020. The following search terms were used: 'breast cancer/breast neoplasm/breast carcinoma/breast tumor/breast malignancy, lymphedema/swelling/edema/lymphoedema, resistance/weight/strength training, best practice/clinical practice/guideline/consensus documents'. The quality of the included studies was evaluated by two authors independently using AGREE II and AMSTAR II tools. Evidence-based recommendations on resistance exercise relevant for BCRL were synthesised and categorised.
This study summarises 43 recommendations for resistance training for BCRL and provides guidance for clinicians. Based on randomised trials and systematic reviews published in recent years, there is an urgent need to update the guidelines and consensus documents in terms of topics, for example effectiveness of resistance training and resistance training outcome index.