To the editor:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 40% of the 3.8 million breast cancer survivors will develop lymphedema as a direct result of their cancer treatment which often includes removal of lymph nodes. This is a significant survivorship issue! These survivors require the daily use of compression garments to manage their incurable disease, yet they are seldom covered by insurance.
I survived a horrific battle with breast cancer, only to become one of the 40% of breast cancer survivors that develop lymphedema! I now lead a Lymphedema Support Group. I often hear from patients who have gone without access to compression garments who now have permanent damage to their limbs, permanent pain, and permanent disability that could have been prevented. Without treatment, patients suffer from significantly higher rates of lymphedema-related complications and hospitalizations.
Visit LymphedemaTreatmentAct.org to learn more about efforts to improve access to care for Breast Cancer survivors and others with lymphedema.