This Lymphedema eNews is being generated through your request from our website.
Education is Must!
On our message board, there is a recent thread addressing the issue of patients not told of lymphedema as a possible complication and hence no education is provided regarding prevention.
In speaking to patients on a daily basis, they indicate their anger is more about not being told or educated than actually developing LE. They indicate that had they known and taken the appropriate measures, they would have been more prepared as well as able to detect symptoms and sought out treatment early to keep it under control.
When asked why they (Physicians) didn't educate their patients about LE, statements ranged from "LE doesn't exist any longer" to "this may discourage women from following through on cancer treatment."
Regarding the first statement about LE not existing any longer; It could be with improved procedures and sentinel node biopsy that the incident of immediate onset of LE has decreased, however, this does not mean it fails to exist. Delayed onset of LE is often not reported to the original surgeon. Patients end up diagnosed by their oncologist, general practitioner, or through self-education and ultimately getting into a clinic that diagnoses them. Patients, after diagnosed, may need to have their findings a
nd diagnosis sent to the original surgeon to become part of the medical records, hence, more breast surgeons are aware of the incidence of LE. The incidence of LE that is reported is probably inaccurate due to a poor collection of data and it not being reported to the places where the data is being collected.
In the other statement, this may discourage women from following through on cancer treatment, DEATH is listed as a possible complication of treatment! So please, let's have women educated that LE as a possible side affect. Let's trust women with this vital information instead of keeping them in the dark.
For the physicians that may be reading this and DO educate their patients, good for you and we thank you! For the patients that are reading this article, you may wish to consider making your surgeon and/or oncologist aware of the development of LE (if they are not aware) so that this is documented in your permanent medical records.
Lymphedema: The Quest for Understanding
The 5th International NLN Conference
We would like to remind our readers that Peninsula Medical will be exhibiting at the upcoming NLN conference next month in Chicago. We will have available at our booth, samples of all our products and perhaps a few suprises! We plan on holding hourly raffles for gift give-a-ways, and a grand prize to be awarded on Saturday night!
Dr. Reid is scheduled to give an oral presentation on the Effects of Pregnancy and Lymphedema Thursday, August 29th. Additionally, Dr. Reid will have two poster presentations. One about the effect of obesity and Lymphedema and the preliminary results of a study with BioCompression and Peninsula Medical currently underway at Duke University ; "Quality of Life with Effective Treatment"
Both health care professionals and patients can still register to attend by applying on-line or via fax up to the deadline of August 15th, 2002. Visit the NLN website for more information to register at www.lymphnet.org.
Peninsula Medical Supply
We would like to again mention our new feature to purchase certain products on line at our new cyber store. We hope to increase the items available over time and all suggestions are welcomed as to what you would like to see available on-line. We are striving to reduce costs of items for patients by making them available in the cyber store. Visit this site @ http://www.peninsulamedicalinc.com