Tools and Tips for Managing Lymphedema

By Guest Blogger Kelly Foote

 

Lymphedema is a well known and feared side effect of breast cancer treatment and one which has significant ongoing effects on an individual’s physical and psychological wellbeing. Whilst only a relative minority of women with breast cancer (about 1 in 5) will go on to develop Lymphedema, nearly all of those who have had treatment are at risk. Education and early detection are vital to reducing the overall burden of this condition.

Lymphoedema App

Lymphoedema App

 

Lymphedema is swelling which occurs in the body’s soft tissue as a result of the lymphatic system not working properly. Lymphedema associated with breast cancer can be caused by either the surgical removal of lymph nodes, radiotherapy to regional lymph nodes or the progression of malignant disease.

 

Lymphedema cannot be cured if it develops, but it can be very well managed if detected early. Early warning signs of Lymphedema can include transient arm swelling and / or feelings of heaviness and tightness in the affected limb. Lymphedema can develop at any time after breast cancer treatment, even many years later, and so it is important that those at risk remain vigilant and informed.

 

The Lymphedema Breast Cancer App is a comprehensive, “on the go” guide to breast cancer related lymphedema. The App is a resource for all women who had lymph node surgery or radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment and who are at risk of developing Lymphedema.

 

The Lymphedema Breast Cancer App features information on what lymphedema is and how to reduce your risk. In addition, the App includes a “step by step” video teaching users how to measure their own arm. Users can save their arm measurements in the App’s measures diary, allowing them to track the size of their arm over time.

 

The Lymphoedema Breast Cancer Apps’ developer, Kelly Foote, is a Lymphoedema Physiotherapist with extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer related Lymphoedema.

 

Screen from the Lymphoedema App

Screen from the Lymphoedema App

The App has been reviewed and endorsed by the Australasian Lymphology Association and the Breast Surgeons Australia & New Zealand Incorporated.

 

The Lympheedema Breast Cancer App can be downloaded from the itunes and Google Play stores for $1.99. The App is compatible for both smartphone and tablet devices.

You can learn more about the Breast Cancer App at: www.lymphoedemabreastcancerapp.com.au

You can download the app at the following web locations:

itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/lymphoedema-breast-cancer/id568232231?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

Google Play store

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kellylymphoedemabreastcancerapp.com.au.Lymphoedema_Breast_Cancer_App&hl=en 

 

About the author:

Kelly Foote is a Cancer Care Physiotherapist and the Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App Developer. Kelly resides in Brisbane, Australia.

 

 

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9 Responses to Tools and Tips for Managing Lymphedema

  1. kelly foote says:

    As the Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App developer I am happy to answer any readers questions about Lymphoedema or about the App. Please forward questions to kelly@lymphoedemabreastcancerapp.com.au or check out the website http://www.lymphoedemabreastcancerapp.com.au for more details and FAQ’s.

  2. Melanie says:

    Any plans for an app of tips for lower limb lymphodema sufferers?

    • kelly foote says:

      Dear Melanie

      Thanks for your post. A lower limb app is definitely in the plan.. probably not until later this year though! Would be interested in your thoughts/ recommendations for what you would like this app to include?

  3. Robert Weiss says:

    It should be made clear that this app deals solely with upper limb lymphedema “caused by either the surgical removal of lymph nodes, radiotherapy to regional lymph nodes or the progression of malignant disease”. It completely ignores the lymphedema of the breast and torso caused by breast surgery and radiotherapy to the breast. This limitation should be pointed out in descriptions of this app.

    • kelly foote says:

      Thank you for your comment. Yes the app does focus on upper limb oedema. Oedema of the breast and chest wall can most certainly occur after lymphadenectomy and/or radiotherapy but it is less frequent, it is more difficult to differentially diagnose as lymphoedema and is also hard to quantify. The App has been reviewed and endorsed by the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand and the Australasian Lymphology Association. The App has also recently been successfully reviewed by the UK’s National Health Service and will soon appear on the NHS’ Health Apps library as an evidenced based, peer reviewed mobile resource for Lymphoedema.

  4. kelly foote says:

    Thank you. I appreciate your comments and hope you and your friends benefit from the App.

  5. Adrianne Coleman says:

    So pleased to find this app. I recently discovered lymphedema in my left arm, a year out from surgery and radiation therapy. Working with my PT, this app is a great tool for tracking progress and for updates on treatment and information. Thanks!

  6. Maureen says:

    As a Pink Ribbon Program Instructor, I found this concept/idea very interesting. It is important for any Breast Cancer Survivor to feel in control and to have the knowledge to identify and handle Lymphoedema should they develop this.

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