Unite in the Fight Against Cancer Covers Cost for Lymphedema Treatments

Written by Lindsey Morris

When you think about cancer treatment side effects, a few things probably come to mind; nausea, vomiting, hair loss, weakened immune system, but what about lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling due to build-up of lymph fluid in the body and interrupts the lymphatic flow. When not treated properly, it can cause loss of use of swelled appendages.

“It is a lifelong condition, there is no cure for it, but it can be managed,” says Hari Kashyap, the Lymphedema Therapist at the Georgia Cancer Center and Wellstar MCG Health.

Kashyap runs the lymphedema clinic and works with Emily Brown, a nurse practitioner who sees patients during check up visits after they’ve completed their active cancer treatment.

“It starts slowly, often times many years after treatment,” says Brown, “especially with breast cancer patients.”

Following up with visits and monitoring your health after cancer treatments, or surgeries and treatments of any kind, are very important. If you see something off, bring it up to your doctor.

When it comes to treatment, lymphedema can be managed by compression bandaging, intermittent pneumatic compression devices, exercises, and manual lymphatic drainage therapy. However, these items and services can be costly, and insurance does not always cover it.

Other methods of funding for cancer patients do not always cover it either since lymphedema can occur long after cancer treatment ends.

Kashyap and Brown saw the need for assistance with coverage and sought out funding from Unite In the Fight Against Cancer. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer is a one mile walk that celebrates and honors all who have been affected by this disease, while raising funds for patient centered programs.

Their program, Limiting Adverse Effects of Lymphedema, received funding from Unite 2023, along with six other programs, and will cover the costs for items to help patients manage their lymphedema.

“This program will help patients not be deprived of treatment just because they cannot afford it,” Kashyap says.

If you or someone you love struggles with lymphedema, visit the clinic’s website or call 706-721-0593 to learn more.

If you would like to learn more about this program, follow us on Facebook to be kept up to date on it and the other programs funded by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer will be held on May 4th 2024. You can find more information by visiting our website and Facebook event page. We encourage all to join us in the fight against cancer.