- Question from Cor: What specific exercise limitations are there with a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line? I was told watch "heavy lifting" and "repetitive movement" but couldn't get any clear answer regarding what that actually meant.
Julie Gralow, M.D.
The main thing is that you don't want to be doing a bunch of jarring motions that could potentially move the line up and out of the body. Obviously the PICC line is there to make it easier to draw blood and receive the chemotherapy. PICC lines can be put in different places, but they usually come out in the upper or middle arm.
It's a bit of a cop out to say "use common sense," but I would not use that arm vigorously. With a PICC line in place, I wouldn't try to lift. But I would discourage complete disuse of the arm. If you really protect it a whole lot, that would also not be a good thing if the muscle atrophies. I know you were asking for specifics, but just avoid very vigorous activities or things that hurt.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Physical Activity and Breast Cancer featured Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., Julie Gralow, M.D., and moderator Judith Sachs answering your questions about the many issues related to physical activity and breast cancer.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in January 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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