Helping each other.. Building Awareness..

This morning when I was checking the Lymphoedema pages and groups on Facebook I saw this post from Kristin who runs the Newcastle Lymphoedema Clinic. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Newcastle-Lymphoedema-Clinic/213474748824277
March is Lymphoedema Awareness month and it seemed a pity that her article would not be seen, in the Newcastle Herald, having taken the trouble to write it. Therefore I offered to post it on this blog so that people can learn the early signs of Lymphoedema. Please find the link to her web site at the end of this post.

“Kristin Osborn – Lymphologist
Cert. CLT, Cert. Lymph Dissec. Dip. R.M., Dip. M.Sc. Cert. T.A.A. Cert. Bus. Mgt.
Member: AMT, LAV, LAQ, ALA, Hunter Wounds, Int. Wounds, Cancer Action Network, BCNA, Nat. Lymph. Network Inc. US. Medical Reg. Aust.

Complex Lymphoedema Therapist – Lymph Drainage, Compression Garments and Bandaging, Laser, Kinesio Taping, Exercise, Diet and Travel Advice. Australasian Distributor of the Reid Sleeve Compression Garment and holding the Largest Lymphoedema amd Lipoedema Products Range in Australasia.
“I am excited to share and help you with the latest in Technology, Education, Techniques and Advice assisting and correcting the way your Lymphatic System works.” Kristin Osborn …. Kristen is also the guest speaker at the Lipoedema conference held in Sydney..

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“Wanted to express how disappointed I was about creating awareness for Lymphoedema Awareness Month March. I wrote an article to go into the Newcastle Herald with a pull-out section for who might get Lymphoedema and the “Signs and Symptoms” for people to look out for and in all the wonderful wisdom of the journalist, she decided to cut it to pieces and put it in a place where no one could find it!, so much for creating awareness.” Kristen

This is the article originally writen for the Newcastle Herald

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National Lymphoedema Awareness Month March 1—31st
“It’s Cool to be Kind”

Lymphoedema is a progressive chronic disorder of the lymphatic system. It occurs when the lymphatic circulation fails to function correctly, causing severe, painful and debilitating swelling. Early diagnosis and specialised management is the primary effective treatment. Lymphoedema usually affects the limb(s) but can affect the trunk of the body, head, breast, neck and the genital area.

There is no cure only management using Manual Lymph Drainage, compression garments and complex bandaging. Lymphoedema affects people of all ages and if not treated early can lead to regular hospitalization , due to infections and have devastating effects both physically and emotionally. Only early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the progression of lymphoedema to minimise its impact and limit complications.

There are many causes of lymphoedema, including some people born with a genetic predisposition. (Primary Lymphoedema) These people may develop lymphoedema at any stage during their life, mainly during major hormonal cycles of puberty, pregnancy and menopause. In addition, any major damage to the already fragile lymphatics caused by surgery, (Cancer, Cosmetic, Knee and Hip Replacements, Broken Bones, Parasitic infections and Venous issues) can cause Lymphoedema to start.

Secondary Lymphoedema is caused by the treatment for cancer, where the lymph nodes are removed or damaged and patients undergoing radiation therapy. This is often seen after Breast cancer treatment or gynecological cancers also Melanoma removal and Prostate Cancer. In fact any treatment where Lymph nodes are removed for what ever reason. However if diagnosed and treated early, this distressing and debilitating disorder can be controlled and reduced, infection prevented, range of movement of the affected area can be improved and the quality of life can be greatly enhanced.

People who are at risk of Lymphoedema, either due to a genetic predisposition (family history) or after cancer treatment, should be aware of the early signs. Many people experience early symptoms of lymphoedema but don’t recognise them so it is vital that these high risk people learn the signs of lymphoedema and seek early diagnosis and treatment.

Early signs and symptoms of lymphoedema can be intermittent or permanent and may include:

1. Intermittent or permanent swelling of the limb
2. Infection
3. Feelings of heaviness and stiffness
4. Limitation of movement
5. Temperature changes of the skin
6. Tightness of Jewellery, Clothing or Shoes
7. Swelling may worsen due to heat, over use, sustained positions and prolonged inactivity or become more obvious at the end of the day.

For more information and assistance please contact Kristin Osborn at Newcastle Lymphoedema Clinic on 49 20 70 10 or visit the website at http://www.newlymphclinic.com.au/

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2 thoughts on “Helping each other.. Building Awareness..

    • Twelve years ago they gave me a bookmark to keep!! It had signs and symptoms and things to be careful of…. I had a quick look and put it away having no idea how important it was!! When my leg blew up it was very obvious…. So glad this helps..

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