The Cancer Care Continuum: Is There Enough Focus on Lymphedema Prevention?

Home Blog The Cancer Care Continuum: Is There Enough Focus on Lymphedema Prevention?

By: Mark Rabe, Vice President Business Development, lmpediMed 

This article was first featured in the 1st Quarter 2020 issue of Essential Advantage. 

Cancer-related lymphedema currently affects about one-third of patients who have undergone surgery, radia­tion, or chemotherapy. It is painful, incurable, and lifelong. However, it can be prevented ... but only if it's caught early and treated. 

The forefront of cancer-related lymphedema prevention: 
TEST, TRIGGER, TREAT™

TEST 
When patients are diagnosed with certain types of cancers, they will have a fluid-tissue measurement record­ed - using lmpediMed's bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) device, SOZO® - for a baseline L-Dex® score. Patients are then remeasured at routine intervals after cancer surgery to track changes in their L-Dex score. 

TRIGGER
If a patient's L-Dex score increases 6.5 points or more from the baseline, clinicians are "triggered" to evaluate the patient for early-stage lymphedema and initiate inter­vention. 

TREAT 
Early intervention of "triggered" patients treated with compression garments has been shown to reduce the progression of lymphedema by 95% in breast cancer patients1

Our goal is that every cancer treatment institution will implement the TEST, TRIGGER, TREAT protocol in their pretreatment baseline tests and regular post-surgical analyses with a goal of early detection. With the proper protocols in place, cancer-related lymphedema can be detected and managed before it becomes a debilitating chronic condition. 

However, we need your help! As the core to treatment, you have a voice and you are an integral part of the prevention continuum. By referring a Lymphedema Prevention Program to your cancer center contacts - and even working with them to implement the program - you will provide the essential TREAT aspect of the program. 

Unfortunately, there are many cancer survivors that are at-risk of lymphedema; Advocating for the implementa­tion of the TEST, TRIGGER, TREAT protocol is the first step in providing access to an underserved community of patients in need of compression garments. 

For more information on cancer-related Lymphedema Preven­tion Program and learn more about becoming a preferred vendor for treatment garments at your cancer center, visit: www.preventlymphedema.com/EssentiallyWomen.

 

References
1.     Ridner SH, et al. A Randomized Trial Evaluating Bioimpedance Spectroscopy Versus Tape Measurement for the Prevention of Lymphedema Following Treatment for Breast Cancer: Interim Analysis. Ann Surg Oncol 2019; https://­doi.org/10.1245/s 10434-019-07344-5. 
2.     Whitworth PW and Cooper A. Reducing chronic breast cancer-related lymphedema utilizing a program of prospective surveillance with bioimpedance spectroscopy. Breast J. 2017;1-4. 

lmpediMed Inc. 
5900 Pasteur Court, Suite 125, Carlsbad, CA 92008 
Toll Free: +1-877-247-0111 
Email:[email protected] 
©2020 lmpediMed Limited. lmpediMed and L-Dex are registered trademarks of lmpediMed Limited. 

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