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Patients cope with Lymphedema through self-management

In Quebec, it is estimated that approximately 70,000 men, women and children have lymphedema, the majority as an unavoidable side effect of cancer treatments. However, less than one percent of them are treated. Many wait years before finding a health professional who can recognize and diagnose their symptoms.

Living well with Lymphedema: Focus on Self-Management is an important public education event organized by the LAQ, in collaboration with the McGill Lymphedema Research Program. It should be of great interest to health care professionals, people living with lymphedema, as well as the general public. It will include the following bilingual lectures and interactive workshops:

• Dr. Anna Towers, Director, MUHC Lymphedema Clinic: Latest News on Lymphedema Research

• Ms. Marjorie McClure, OTR/L, Magee Women’s Research Institute, Pittsburgh, USA.: Exercise for Lymphedema Patients: Why and How the Breast Cancer Recovery Program works

• Mr. Marco Raffis, BSc, KT, PT Lymphedema Therapist: Understanding Lymphedema

• A choice of interactive workshops providing participants with tools of self-management, including information on compression garments, self-measurement, self-massage and exercise.

• An open visit of exhibits of lymphedema products and services

WHEN: Friday, June 5, 2009
TIME: From noon to 6pm
WHERE: Hotel Maritime, 1155 Guy Street, Montreal
Participation fees are from $15.00. RSVP: Registration forms are available on LAQ’s website or at 514-979-2463.

Lymphedema is a progressive, debilitating, excessive build-up of fluid in body tissues with no known cure.

Fact: Primary lymphedema is caused by a deficiency of the lymphatic system. It can appear at birth or any time in life, usually for reasons unknown.

Fact: Secondary lymphedema is caused when the lymphatic system is damaged as a result of trauma, surgery or radiation. It can be a side effect of cancer-related surgeries that require the removal of lymph nodes, including for such cancers as: breast, melanoma, gynecological cancer, prostate, bladder and colon. Lymphedema may occur months or years after surgery.

Fait: Treatments can cost thousands of dollars. Quebec’s health care system does not cover the costs involved, and patients are left to cope on their own.

Due to the lack of medical professionals with expertise in the lymphatic system, the LYMPHEDEMA ASSOCIATION OF QUEBEC (LAQ) was founded in 1999. The LAQ is a registered charity dedicated to raising awareness and providing education about lymphedema - its causes and treatments, and supporting patients, their families and health professionals as well as encouraging research in this area.

For more information, please contact:
Rachel Pritzker

Marsha Berman | LAQ/AQL
Further information:

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