英文版標題: FEATURE: Breast cancer survivors enjoy dragon boat racing/Taipei Times/CNA, with Staff Writer
IN IT TOGETHER:Training for the race brings women who have battled cancer together, allowing them to reap both the mental and physical rewards of exercise
(中央社記者劉碩雅台北 4 日電 )端午節划龍舟早就不是男性專屬權利，今年一群乳癌痊癒者更以積極行動打破迷思，組隊參加 2011 台北國際龍舟錦標賽，證明划龍舟確實有助乳癌術後復健。
For many breast cancer survivors, the long rehabilitation process can be daunting, but it is made much easier for one group of women who have found a way to integrate sport into their daily lives.
Liaw Pey-jiun, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, said that rehabilitation has not been a problem for her because she exercises regularly and participates in a wide variety of sporting events, the most recent being the traditional dragon boat race.
Liaw, 56, is a retired nurse and the newly elected captain of the nation’s first Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat team, which was formed last year as a way of encouraging patients to take part in public sporting activities.
The initiative was so successful that 60 people signed up, which meant they had to be split into two teams.
“It has helped me profoundly,” Liaw said. “Now I want to introduce more breast cancer survivors to the sport.”
“Not only do I feel healthier, I also think that being in the same boat — quite literally — helps to forge a valuable bond between the team members,” she said.
At Bitan and Dajia Riverside Parks, where teams often train for the dragon boat races, the new found friends — some in their 70s — practice at their own pace and keep up a steady stream of conversation.
Liaw said they talk about everything, from family life to fighting depression, a condition with which many breast cancer survivors struggle to cope.
“We don’t want to bother our loved ones all the time, and this activity offers the perfect opportunity to share our problems with one another,” she said.
兩個月前，「馨懷龍舟隊」開始集訓，每週 6 上午得花上半天在碧潭或大佳河濱公園練習划槳動作。不過，廖珮均說划槳一點也不枯燥乏味，因為姊妹們擁有共同生命經驗，話匣子一打開，天南地北什麼都可以聊；「生病後，總不好每件小事都和家人抱怨。划龍舟划累了，姊妹們還可以互相訴苦、抱怨、打氣、慰藉，心情就會好許多。」
In medical circles, there has been more of a focus in recent times on the rehabilitation aspect of breast cancer treatment, according to one professional.
“In the past, doctors paid more attention to surgical or chemical treatment than to rehabilitation,” said Chen Huo-mu (陳火木), director of the Department of Breast Surgery at Taipei City Hospital.
“But the high survival rate over the years has led us to think about how breast cancer patients can live longer and lead happier lives,” said Chen, who strongly supports the boat racing activity as a form of rehabilitation.
There are more than 8,000 new breast cancer survivors each year and more than 70 percent surpass the 10-year survival estimate, he said.
根據統計資料，台灣每年新增 8000 多位乳癌患者，且 10 年存活率已超過7成。
Dragon boat racing, which originated as part of the Chinese Dragon Boat festival, was highly recommended by Canadian professor Donald McKenzie in 1996 as an activity that could help decrease lymphedema (淋巴水腫) among breast cancer patients.
“There are more than 100 racing teams composed of breast cancer patients around the world now, so there is no reason why we should not support the activity,” Chen said.
輔導成立「馨懷龍舟隊」的陳火木說，划龍舟本是傳統民俗活動，但 1996 年開始，經過加拿大籍教授麥肯錫 (Donald McKenzie) 大力推廣，乳癌病友開始將龍舟運動納入復健項目，全世界目前有百支由乳癌病友組成的龍舟隊伍。
Asked about the physiological benefits, he said that various types of research have proven that rowing strengthens the upper body muscles and helps reduce tissue swelling, or lymphedema, which usually results from the removal of lymph nodes.
“Any form of exercise is helpful as long as the muscles are being worked on a regular basis,” said Lin Wei-chieh (林葳婕), secretary-general of the Taiwan Breast Cancer Alliance and an organizer of water dance lessons.
“It is best if the instructor becomes familiar with the specific needs of breast cancer survivors and integrates therapeutic massage into the movements,” she said.
For Liaw, however, the psychological benefits gained from boat racing far outweigh the physical advantages.
“The scariest thing is to fight breast cancer alone, but I feel a sense of identity and belonging when I’m working with my teammates,” she said.