New treatment for lymphedema sufferers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/15/09

New treatment for lymphedema sufferers

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - There is more than two million breast cancer survivors in the US, but treatment leaves many of those women with a serious side effect called lymphedema-when lymph nodes are removed and fluid can't drain which causes pain and swelling. Patients often end up wearing tight compression bandages to reduce the swelling.

Now, there may be a new option. In a pilot program, researchers at Baylor University Medical Center are treating lymphedema patients with water therapy instead.  Aggie Mejia, a breast cancer survivor, says, "It totally alleviated the pain, almost immediately. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to not have any pain and to totally just go on with your life."  Oncologist Dr. Michael Grant of Baylor University Medical Center, adds, "What we'd like to know is, is this something that's effective long-term or is it just effective while you do it?"

Baylor researchers believe the combination of low-impact activity and water pressure create a double-whammy attack against lymphedema, but more studies are needed.

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