Lymphedema is a risk breast cancer patients and survivors know all too well. Although most commonly associated with lymph node damage and removal during mastectomies, lymphedema can also result from tumor growth that impedes the flow of lymphatic fluid as well as from radiation treatment, which can cause scarring and inflammation of the lymph nodes and vessels. For these reasons, it is important that all breast cancer patients and survivors wear medical ID jewelry. So that begs the question...
What is Lymphedema?
Every October, the pink ribbons abound as people come together to promote breast cancer awareness, support, and research efforts. Thankfully, those efforts continue all year round, and here at Lauren’s Hope, that’s never been truer than it became this past spring.
In April, CEO and Owner, LeAnn Carlson called a staff meeting. Gathered together, LeAnn shared the news with all of us. Not one to mince words, she simply said, “I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Every day, we have the opportunity to speak with Lauren's Hope customers, and many call because they're simply not sure what to engrave on medical ID jewelry. This is certainly something worth spending time considering, as your medical alert bracelet is the one thing that can always be counted on to advocate for you in those scary moments when you simply cannot do so for yourself.
People often associate breast cancer with a secondary diagnosis: lymphedema. Not everyone who has lived with breast cancer will develop lymphedema, and nowhere near everyone with lymphedema has (or has had) breast cancer. In fact, although breast cancer treatment (radiation) is the leading cause of lymphedema in the United States, worldwide it is much more common for people to develop lymphedema due to a parasitic infection. So let's cover the basics first.