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Vascular Experts Call for Increased Awareness of Growing Problem of Lymphedema
Date:2/12/2009

Cancer Survivors Share Lifetime Risk for the Disease

PHOENIX, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Although major advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of cancer, more attention needs to be given to one of the more serious side effects of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy -- the painful and often progressive condition called lymphedema, a panel of vascular experts reported today.

"While we hear so much about cardiovascular disease, few physicians are familiar with lymphedema -- the other vascular disease," said Stanley G. Rockson, M.D., Chief of Consultative Cardiology and Director of the Stanford Center for Lymphatic and Venous Disorders, Stanford University School of Medicine.

"Because cancer survivors are living longer, and because lymphedema occurs more frequently in older cancer survivors, more people are at risk for developing the disease. The incidence of lymphedema is especially higher among Latinos and African-American women who have undergone breast cancer treatment," added Dr. Rockson, who was the moderator of a symposium on lymphedema awareness held last night at the 21st Annual Meeting of the American Venous Forum, presented at the Arizona Grand Resort. The AVF meeting runs through Saturday, February 14th.

The Other Vascular Disease

Lymphedema is an incurable, often painful debilitating condition that affects an estimated 3-5 million people in the United States and 170 million people worldwide (The World Health Organization). It most commonly occurs as a result of cancer treatment from surgery and radiation therapy. More than 3.3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States are at a lifetime risk for the disease. Although major advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of cancer, minimal attention has been given to lymphedema diagnosis and management. But this is slowly changing due to education and awareness.

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SOURCE Versaggi Biocommunications
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