Upper Hunter advocates say Lymphoedema Awareness Day perfect opportunity to send a timely message to NSW Government

UPPER Hunter advocates are calling on the next NSW Government to increase the number of public lymphoedema services in the area and ensure timely access to evidence-based care.

The plea, on Lymphoedema Awareness Day (March 6), is part of Cancer Council’s Saving Life 2019 pre-election advocacy campaign, which implores the next party who prevails on March 23 to take action to further reduce the impact of cancer on the community.

“Government funding is urgently needed to increase the number of public services for people with lymphoedema so they can access the treatment they need,” the community programs coordinator at Cancer Council’s Upper Hunter office, Glen Parsons, said.

“Lymphoedema in cancer patients is most commonly seen after surgery or radiation therapy treatment, which can damage the lymphatic drainage system and results in swelling, often in the arms or legs. 

“Lymphoedema is a chronic, progressive and incurable condition, but it can be controlled if people can access services when they need to. 

“If untreated, the swelling is likely to worsen and cause considerable physical and psychological distress. 

“It can also lead to problems with function including mobility, activities of daily living and employability. 

“To reduce the risk of lymphoedema developing or worsening, early diagnosis and evidence-based treatment is needed.”

CanAct is a network of thousands of advocates across NSW, including the Upper Hunter, with the passion and the power to change what politicians do about cancer.

Community members can support the Saving Life 2019 campaign this Lymphoedema Awareness Day by signing an online postcard at canact.com.au