With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the many gratitude lists making their way around Facebook and the blogosphere lately, we’ve been thinking about the things we’re thankful for in the field of lymphedema treatment. Sometimes it’s good to think about how much progress has been made so far. We’re often so intently focused on what still needs to be done that we forget to appreciate the improvements in lymphatic knowledge and lymphedema patient care that have gained momentum in recent years — from diverse product development to increasing research funding. With that in mind, here are 5 things we’re feeling grateful for this season:
- Advances in lymphatic research and a growing contribution of research dollars toward possible surgical interventions in the prevention and management of lymphedema in the future.
- An increased number of suppliers of quality compression garments and lymphedema care products which is helping to give lymphedema patients more variety, choice, and improved comfort in the management of this life-long condition.
- All the people who are working hard with the Lymphedema Treatment Act to get Medicare to cover reimbursement of compression garments, as these products are critical to the success of managing lymphedema and improving the quality of life for patients.
- Increased awareness by oncology physicians in the need to give their patients appropriate lymphedema prevention information as an important part of patient education in regards to procedures such as lymph node removal.
- Growing support of educational and advocacy organizations such as National Lymphedema Network (NLN) and Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) as important resources for increasing lymphedema awareness, promoting specialized education in the therapeutic and allied health field, and improving lymphedema patient care standards.