The Cancer Link to Dragon Boat Racing

The Cancer Link to Dragon Boat Racing

In February 1996, Dr. Donald McKenzie organised a dragon boat team comprising breast cancer survivors. His aim was to prevent lymphedema (swelling of usually an arm or leg due to removal of or damage to lymph nodes during surgery).  See links below to additional information.

Dr. McKenzie’s studies had shown that, contrary to popular misconception, exercise was beneficial and dragon boating in particular ideal for his breast cancer patients whose active treatment had ended.

Non-weight-bearing – there is lower risk of injury than weight-dependent activities such as running
Safe – with proper technique the paddler can recruit a reasonable amount of muscle mass and induce positive adaptations in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
Suited to a wide variety of ages and athletic abilities – training intensity can be varied simply by pulling harder and still provide each paddler with a training effect.
Psychologically positive – a team sport that builds harmony and togetherness, dragon boating is an exhilarating experience that every paddler has enjoyed.

Listen to a podcast: “Breast Cancer And Dragon Boat Racing: The Story Behind A Movement“, 30 November 2018.

Read more about Abreast in a Boat