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World Lymphedema Day event at UT to provide education, support

More than 200,000 cases of lymphedema are reported in the U.S. every year, but many women still do not receive proper instruction on how to manage the disease.

“It can be developed at any time,” said Renee Schick, breast cancer survivor and manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer on The University of Toledo Health Science Campus. “Mine started about six years after my surgery and treatments.”

Lymphedema is a chronic, incurable disease that results from the lack of lymphatic drainage, causing swelling of the extremities. The condition is most often caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment, and it may lead to disfigurement if the person affected does not commit to long-term self-care.

The public is invited to learn more about the disease and products to help manage the condition on World Lymphedema Day at Renee’s Survivor Shop.

The event will be open-house style from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, March 6.

“Jobst representatives will have a display of new compression products, compression bras, lymphedema bracelets, swell spots and more,” Schick said. “We will have a lymphedema therapist at the event between 2 and 4:30 p.m. to answer questions.”

While the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the disease sometimes go unnoticed, Schick warns of the dangers of letting lymphedema go untreated.

“Lymphedema is a condition that can be managed,” she said. “If it is not managed, it will continue to get worse and could have major complications.”

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