For approximately the last 30 years, people across the country have tirelessly raised fund to increase awareness about the most prevalent type of cancer: breast cancer. Unfortunately, in the case of lymphedema, a common condition associated with localized fluid retention and tissue swelling, knowledge and prevention tactics have remained low despite its alarmingly high statistics.
Many people are unaware that lymphedema is the most debilitating postoperative complication in breast, ovarian, cervical, prostate, and other various cancers. It can be caused by the surgical procedures used to remove lymph nodes or form radiation therapy, both of which disrupt lymph drainage. It can also be caused by a trauma or infection in the lymph nodes. Lymphedema can also be genetically inherited. Affected patients suffer from extreme swelling and sometimes significant pain, typically affecting the arms and legs. Worldwide data estimates that 180-250 million people suffer from lymphedema.
Even though these numbers are overwhelmingly high, lymphedema education in the U.S. is still lacking. In fact, some of our lymphedema patients have told us stories of having to do their own research on the condition before they even received treatment for their cancer. So in addition to navigating the emotionally and physically painful experience of battling cancer, they are forced to seek out help for a post-operative condition that many in the medical field haven’t warned them about. That is why our team here at Rue & Primavera wants to inform people. Additionally, we offer free consultations to women who have had lymph glands removed due to breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer.
Every October, people around the globe draw attention to breast cancer prevention, and we encourage you to help us spread awareness about lymphedema this month. Wendy Rue, PT is a certified lymphedema therapist, CLT, and she offers free consultations to breast cancer survivors. If you have any questions or want to schedule a free consultation, don’t hesitate to give our office a call!
Rue and Primavera Occupational and Physical Therapy