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Breast Cancer Foundation steps in to support Kiwis

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ has launched a new service focusing on early intervention for those at risk of lymphoedema following breast cancer surgery. The announcement marks World Lymphoedema Day, March 6th.

The chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ), Evangelia Henderson, says lymphoedema can be a debilitating condition which affects around one in five Kiwi women who’ve had breast cancer surgery and lymph node removal.

“Lymphoedema leads to swelling in the affected area which can be painful and uncomfortable, especially in warmer weather. It limits mobility and can really take its toll, both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, there’s no cure,” says Mrs Henderson.

“Not all District Health Boards have lymphoedema therapy available, or if they do, the demand is so great that people are kept waiting - and private therapy is expensive.

“Yet we know that if lymphoedema isn’t detected and managed well early, it can set in for life. Early intervention and education can equip people to self-manage their symptoms, which is why we’ve stepped in. The right treatment will empower these women for the rest of their lives.”

BCFNZ offers funding for lymphoedema therapy worth $180 (excl gst). Visit www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz to apply.

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